Let’s Encrypt is a nonprofit, founded in 2014 by the Internet Security Research Group, that issues SSL/TLS certificates to the masses. It’s a free tool that has gained major support from companies like Mozilla, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Google and Facebook.
What Are SSL/TLS Certificates?
These certificates serve two functions: 1) They give permission to use encrypted communication via Public Key Infrastructure, and 2) authenticates the identity of the certification holder. With these certificates, communications between a server and a browser are all encrypted. This encryption is what protects your information from any malicious third parties.
Websites that have these certificates are denoted by their https URL rather than the standard (and now outdated) http URL. Most popular browsers denote this encryption with padlocks in the address bar. These signal to users that their connection is secure.
Chrome Calls Out Websites With Non-Encrypted, Unsecured Connections
Back in July of 2018 Chrome made a change to its browser that alerted users when they attempted to visit websites without HTTPS. When the feature was first released, it showed a red warning message. These warnings made it difficult for users to even access unencrypted websites. Now Chrome displays a “Not Secure” message in the address bar.
About Let’s Encrypt
According to its website, Let’s Encrypt “is a free, automated, and open certificate authroity (CA), run for the public’s benefit.” The fact that it’s free to use has helped spread encryption across the internet. Before Let’s Encrypt if a website wanted to use HTTPS and SSL encryption, it was a convoluted and technically advanced process.
Let’s Encrypt’s Key Principles
Encryption Is Essential
If you are entering any sensitive information into a website, like financial or personal information, you should make sure it uses HTTPS encryption. If not, a malicious third party with access to your network could steal your information. Even something as simple as entering login information to log in could let hackers exploit your data around the internet.
Because many online services let users create profiles, it’s increasingly important for the websites you visit to enable HTTPS by default.
Note that even with basic browsing over HTTP what you are looking at can be monitored, modified, and recorded by entities, such as your ISP or government. This effectively means you do not have any privacy when browsing such pages. – DigiCert
If you are using your secure home WiFi network, it’s unlikely that someone is monitoring your network activity. If you’re using a public network, someone else could monitor your browsing behavior on non-HTTPS sites.
Read More: Why You Should Choose To Encrypt…Everything
Search Encrypt Uses Encryption to Protect Your Privacy
Search Encrypt uses added encryption to protect the privacy of your searches. We use AES-256 encryption with an expiring encryption key. The combination of industry standard encryption with an expiring key means that when you’re finished searching, your search term and browsing history expire, and you’ll have perfect forward secrecy.