Monday, January 12, 2009

Tib Bit

The Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

One of my sisters in Christ thought it would be a good idea to post the difference between HTTP and HTTPS so I decided to do just that (thanks Toni).

HTTP stands for hyper text transfer protocol which is a protocol web browsers used to communicate and share information with each other…relay the information you typed into the address bar or the uniform resource locator (URL).

HTTPS is similar except the ‘S’ which makes the communication secure for sharing confidential information with a secured server and a few other technical aspects such as ports, transport layers, good encryption, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc. that would make this Tid Bit boring if I go into detail. The data is encrypted for transmission and then decrypted once it arrives at the designated server. Those interested in more technical knowledge can visit the links listed at the end of this post. Notice these links are unsecured as they start with http:// and there is no reason for them to be secured as they are only providing known information. The majority of HTTPS we normally use would be on log in pages…check your email provider sign in page and see what is listed in the URL. Others are stores online checkout pages, online banking, online trading…you get the idea…where data needs to be secured HTTPS is used. If you are providing confidential information and HTTPS is not in the URL you may want to rethink your decision before proceeding.

Additionally, some browsers display a locked yellow padlock in the browser frame, usually in the status bar in the lower right hand corner. If you double-click the padlock there is information about the site and you can click on the View Certificate button to view the digital certificate. An open padlock indicates an unsecured page. The presence or absence of a closed or opened padlock does not guarantee the page is secured. Users should pay close attention to the URL when sharing sensitive and confidential information. Make sure you are where you intended to be.

As always, submit your comments and questions and let’s have fun learning together.

More technical information:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You Ava, I'm getting the hang of this now! TB