HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a newer and more secure version of HTTP, HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is the method of communication between a user’s computer and the website they are connecting to. All information sent over HTTP connections is seen as regular text that can easily be read by a hacker breaking into the connection between your browser and the website you are connecting to. It is important to use HTTPS because it ensures that any data sent is encrypted. Most web browsers show the user a padlock in the address bar to show that an HTTPS connection is being used.
HTTPS and the security it gives to users is huge. HTTPS is often used to protect financial transactions like banking and online shopping. HTTPS pages use one of two available secure protocols to encrypt communications, SSL, which is short for Secure Socket Layer, or TLS, which is short for Transport Layer Security. “SSL and TLS are both cryptographic protocols that provide authentication and data encryption between servers, machines, and applications”. (GlobalSign, 2016) TLS is simply the newest released version of the protocol and has new and improved stuff based on the previous version, SSL.
Although TSL is the newer version, both are still being used today. When you request an HTTPS connection to a website’s page, the website will respond by sending its SSL or TLS certificate back to the browser to verify a key contained within the certificate that verifies a connection is secured. This gives the user peace of mind when entering their passwords, account numbers, and other at-risk details into the site.