HTTPS vs. HTTP: You Should Care If You Shop Online
If there is one thing you should at the very least take away from this article, it’s that Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP.
HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, is the way a Web server communicates with browsers like Internet Explorer® and Mozilla Firefox®. HTTP lets visitors view a site and send information back to the Web server.
HTTPS, or hypertext transfer protocol secure, is HTTP through a secured connection. Communications through an HTTPS server are encrypted by a secure certificate known as an SSL. The encryption prevents third-parties from eavesdropping on communications to and from the server. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted/secure. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms and login areas of websites where users are expected to enter private authentication credentials. Only servers that have their own SSL can create HTTPS connections. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon (normally green) in the address bar to visually indicate that an HTTPS connection is in effect.
Already you can see why you would rather shop online with a website that has https (https://www.zimshoppingmalls.com/shop/) and not http.
Still want to know more? Read on…
HTTP and HTTPS: What do they do, and how are they different
You click to check-out at an online merchant. Suddenly your browser address bar says HTTPS instead of HTTP. What’s going on? Is your credit card information safe?
Good news. Your information is safe. The website you are working with has made sure that no one can steal your information. Instead of HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), this website uses HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a “secret code” between them, and then they scramble the messages using that “secret code” so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.
They use the “code” on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), sometimes called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to send the information back and forth.
Some Background Information on HTTP and HTTPS
In the beginning, network administrators had to figure out how to share the information they put out on the Internet. They agreed on a procedure for exchanging information and called it HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
Once everyone knew how to exchange information, intercepting on the Internet was not difficult. So knowledgeable administrators agreed upon a procedure to protect the information they exchanged. The protection relies on SSL Certificates to encrypt the online data. Encryption means that the sender and recipient agree upon a “secret code” and translate their documents into random-looking character strings that don’t make sense to anyone that may accidentally or intentionally gain access to them. Only the sender and the recipient, who know the “code,” can decipher the message.
The procedure for encrypting information and then exchanging it is called HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
CYBER THEFT IS REAL: Make sure you only shop on websites that have a secure HTTPS connection to ensure your private personal information is safe.
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