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If the stats from February 2022 are believed, there have been 83 big data breaches globally.
Spoofing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, data breaches— you name it, there is insecurity journeying their ways into the Internet. Thanks to the notoriety of cybercriminals, website owners from all parts of the world have shifted to HTTPS protocol. According to Google, almost 95% of Internet traffic is now subjected to encryption and goes through https port 443.
As a result, website owners now leverage HTTPS to carve an efficient and simple way of securing their websites. How? Let’s start understanding how HTTPS port works and dig deeper.
HTTPS Port 443 is an essential component of secure website communication. It is the default port for HTTPS, the secure version of the HTTP protocol. By using Port 443, HTTPS encrypts the data transmitted between a user’s browser and a website, safeguarding sensitive information from potential attackers.
Implementing HTTPS with Port 443 not only provides data confidentiality but also establishes trust with users by displaying the padlock symbol and “Secure” label in the browser’s address bar. Secure your website’s communication and protect user data by ensuring your server is configured to use Port 443 and HTTPS protocol.
When a user enters a URL that starts with “HTTPS://,” their browser will automatically attempt to connect to the website using secure port 443. This port is used in conjunction with the SSL/TLS protocols to establish a secure, encrypted connection. This ensures that any data exchange between the two, such as login credentials or personal information, remains private and protected from third-party interception.
In case there is no port 443 available, the connection gets switched to port 80 by default. However, that happens if the website facilitates insecure connections of these types, lest the end-user will receive a warning message.
HTTPS is a protocol used to secure communication over the Internet. Typically, it combines standard HTTP protocol and a security protocol called SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). It encrypts the in-transit data between a web server and a web client.
When a client connects to a web server using HTTPS, the server and the client initiate an ‘SSL handshake.’ This process is responsible for establishing a secure connection. During this process, the server sends the client a digital certificate containing information about the server’s identity and public encryption key. After the client verifies the certificate and finds it valid, the client and server establish an encrypted connection using the public key.
HTTPS communication typically takes place over https port 443, the default port for HTTPS traffic. However, HTTPS traffic can also take place over other ports if configured to do so. The ports are”:
Out of all these, HTTPS 443 port is the most commonly used port for HTTPS traffic, and it is recommended to use it as default. So let’s talk about it now.
There must be a reason or reasons why the SSL 443 port is the default HTTPS setting. So let’s find that out.
There are several reasons for secure port 443 being the default setting of HTTPS traffic. These are some of them:
Port 443 is a well-known port number that is not typically blocked by firewalls. This allows users to access HTTPS websites without having to configure their firewall to allow access to a specific port.
Port 443 is also used for other protocols, such as IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN, which are used to establish virtual private networks (VPNs). This means that network administrators who have already opened port 443 for VPN traffic will not have to open another port for HTTPS traffic.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information transmitted over the Internet, many industries and organizations must comply with regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOC 2, which mandate the use of encryption for sensitive data. By using port 443 for HTTPS, organizations can meet these regulatory requirements.
As a default port setting of HTTPS, Port 443 ensures a seamless experience for users. They don’t have to specify the port number in the URL to access a secure website.
These are some of the reasons why port 443 must be chosen as a default HTTPS port. So how do you enable it on your website? Let’s discuss that.
Let us start enabling Port 443 using Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
Step #1: By clicking on start>>Run and typing firewall.cpl, you have to go to the Firewall Control Panel.
Step #2: You can see Advanced Settings on the left side. Click on it, and then you can see Inbound Rules on the left side.
Step #3: On the right-side panel, you can find Actions. Under that panel, click on New Rule.
Step #4: You will now get a new window. Here you have to choose Port and then click on the Next button.
Step #5: Choose TCP and Specific local ports. Here, you have to write 443 in the box given to you.
Step #6: You will find another screen with three options. Here, you have to click on Allow the connection and click on Next.
Step #7: Choose the Domain and Private options and click the ‘Next’ button.
Step #8: Another window appears. Here you have to type the ‘WCF-WF 4.0 Samples’ name and click on Finish.
Now that we know what port 443 is, its benefits, and how to enable it, let us take one last stop to discuss what it doesn’t do. Yes, you read that right. Let’s start.
Although 443 port SSL provides a secure communication channel for the flow of sensitive data over the Internet, it does not provide 100% protection in all cases. Here is something that port 443 does:
Always remember that HTTPS with port 443 is just one layer of security. It should be used in conjunction with other security measures such as two-factor authentication, anti-virus software, and regular security updates to ensure maximum security.
Read also about What is SSL Certificate Port? A Guide on SSL Port Number
We hope we have made the understanding of port 443 easy for you. The next step is to enable an SSL certificate, run your website over HTTPS port 443 and make your user experience safe, secure, and seamless. So are you ready to switch your website to HTTPS?