Changing to https

I have started preparations for making a number of changes to the site. In particular, I am preparing for it to be operated under the https:// protocol instead of the http:// protocol which is what we operate under at present. I am not sure how long this will take not least because I have yet to find the right programmer for the job. [Any suggestions? Most of the work will be done remotely but I will want to meet him/her on odd occasions so that means that he/she should be in travelling distance from Herefordshire.]

Why am I doing this? I have taken note of the recommendation by various of the ‘major Internet players’ that sites should change from the longstanding http:// protocol to the https:// protocol, which is viewed as more secure. I understand that the additional security comes through code being encrypted in a way that should keep information safer from hackers. For a site such as ours, which receives only basic logging-in information and keeps away from online payment details (which are handled by PayPal), the only potentially-sensitive bits of information we receive are your Name, your email address, your Username, and the Password you use to log into the site. Of these, I’d guess that the only real issue could be with the Password and that would be a potential issue only if you use the same Password for this site as you use for other sites in which you do store sensitive data (such as bank details). [Incidentally, I cannot see what Password you set for this site. I can see those other details and I can set you up with a new Password but I cannot see what an existing Password is.]

I want to ensure not just that this site is secure but also that everyone is happy that it is secure. Apart from anything else, I do not want a repeat of the problems (reported on the History of the site page) that arose in 2010-11 when Google’s search engine made changes that made this site (and many other small business sites) almost invisible to the Internet. That cost me a lot of heartache (and a lot of money) and the site’s position on the Internet has never really recovered from that.

I shall be taking the opportunity of this programming review to sort out some other bugs in the site, in particular one that involves the Registration & Subscription System. It is in fact quite likely that that particular bug is linked to the https issue. I am not yet sure about that but clearing it, and some other matters, is certainly included in the work planned for the site. That work may distract me from working on the Families Database from time to time but it will be worth it as it will secure the operation of the site for a bit more of the future.

Written by on the 29th September 2017.

Peter is the founder & proprietor of Stirnet.

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