What is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the protocol for secure communication on the World Wide Web, and it prevents eavesdroppers from seeing information that visitors send or receive over the Internet. HTTPS secures its connections by using SSL/TLS, protocols that authenticate web servers and that encrypt messages sent between browsers and web servers.
What is SSL/TLS?
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication over the Internet. HTTPS uses TLS to secure communication for website visitors. TLS provides the following security benefits:
- Identity authentication — The browser determines whether a web server is the right server, and not an imposter.
- Privacy — Information between the browser and web server is kept private by using encryption.
- Data integrity — Messages between the browser and the web server cannot be altered by others (e.g., during a man-in-the-middle attack).
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the predecessor of TLS. After SSL 3.0, the next upgrade was named TLS 1.0 (instead of SSL 4.0) because the version upgrade was not interoperable with SSL 3.0. Many people refer to TLS as SSL (old habits die hard) or as SSL/TLS, even though all versions of SSL are now deprecated.
How can I determine whether a site is secure?
Using a browser, website visitors can determine whether a site uses an SSL/TLS certificate by checking:
- The lock icon next to the web address.
- The text https:// before the hostname in the web address. (The ‘s’ in https stands for secure.)
SSL/TLS certificate warnings for Internet Explorer on Windows XP. WP Engine uses Server Name Indication (SNI) for SSL/TLS certificates. SNI provides an efficient way to configure certificates, and it works well with most browsers. However, visitors that use Internet Explorer on Windows XP may see the following error:
This Connection is Untrusted / Certificate Error: You have asked to connect securely, but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure. Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site’s identity can’t be verified.
How can I get an SSL/TLS certificate?
Get more information about how to secure your site using this article: How can I get SSL/TLS certificates for my site?