HTTPS - HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer). 

It is a TCP/IP protocol used by Web servers to transfer and display Web content securely. The data transferred is encrypted so that it cannot be read by anyone except the recipient.
HTTPS is used by any Web site that is collecting sensitive customer data such as banking information or purchasing information. 

If you are making a transaction online, you should make sure that it is done over HTTPS so that the data remains secure.
You can tell when a page is using HTTPS in two ways:
  1. There will be a lock icon in the browser window pane (usually at the bottom).
  2. The URL will say "https://" 

There are two primary differences between an HTTPS and an HTTP connection work:
  • HTTPS connects on port 443, while HTTP is on port 80
  • HTTPS encrypts the data sent and received with SSL, while HTTP sends it all as plain text
Most Web customers know that they should look for the https in the URL and the lock icon in their browser when they are making a transaction. So if your storefront is not using HTTPS, you will lose customers. But even still, it is common to find Web sites that collect money including credit card data over a plain HTTP connection. 

This is very bad!
HTTP sends the data collected over the Internet in plain text. This means that if you have a form asking for a credit card number, that credit card number can be intercepted by anyone with a packet sniffer. Since there are many free sniffer software tools, this could be anyone at all. By collecting credit card information over an HTTP (not HTTPS) connection, you are broadcasting that credit card information to the world. And the only way your customer will learn it was stolen is when it's maxed out by a thief.

There are only a couple things you need in order to host secure pages on your Web site:
  • A Web server such as Apache with mod_ssl that supports SSL encryption
  • A Unique IP address - this is what the certificate providers use to validate the secure certificate
  • An SSL Certificate from an SSL certificate provider


Google Website Optimizer

Google Website Optimizer, Google’s free website testing and optimization tool, allows you to increase the value of your existing websites and traffic without spending a cent. Using Website Optimizer to test and optimize site content and design, you can quickly and easily increase revenue and ROI whether you’re new to marketing or an expert.

How it works?

1. Pick a page you want to improve
Look at your page and pick something you'd like to try changing.
Maybe it's a headline or a description. It can be anything.

2. Create your experiment
Click + Create a new experiment below.

Choose the test type that makes sense for you.
Website Optimizer will guide you through each step of creating your experiment.

3. Need help?
For each step, you'll find instructions and tips on the right-hand side of the page.
You also have a Beginner's Guide.


Recovering root password under Linux with single user mode

It happens sometime that you can’t remember root password. On Linux, recovering root password can be done by booting Linux under a specific mode: single user mode.
This tutorial will show how to boot Linux in single user mode when using GRUB
During normal usage, a Linux OS runs under runlevels between 2 and 5 which corresponds to various multi-user modes. Booting Linux under runlevel 1 will allow one to enter into a specific mode, single user mode. Under such a level, you directly get a root prompt. From there, changing root password is a piece of cake.

Some Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu for instance, offer a specific boot menu entry where it is stated “Recovery Mode” or “Single-User Mode“. If this is your case, selecting this menu entry will boot your machine into single user mode, you can carry on with the next part. If not, you might want to read this part.

Using GRUB, you can manually edit the proposed menu entry at boot time. To do so, when GRUB is presenting the menu list (you might need to press ESC first), follow those instructions:

- use the arrows to select the boot entry you want to modify.
- press e to edit the entry
- use the arrows to go to kernel line
- press e to edit this entry
- at the end of the line add the word: single
- press ESC to go back to the parent menu
- press b to boot this kernel

The kernel should be booting as usual (except for the graphical splash screen you might be used to), and you will finally get a root prompt (sh#).
Here we are, we have gained root access to the filesystem, let’s finally change the password.

As root, changing password does not ask for your old password, therefore running the command:
# passwd

will prompt you for your new password and will ask you to confirm it to make sure there is no typo.

That’s it, you can now reboot your box and gain root access again.