HTTPS is an encrypted website connection. In the past, it was known for passwords and other sensitive data. HTTPS means ‘’hypertext transfer protocol Secure’’. Whenever you see https know that the website you are in is encrypted and secure. But http connections are not encrypted neither are the secure for anyone.
How HTTP Puts You at Risk
It is important to know that when you connect to a website with regular HTTP, your browser searches for IP address that matches the website, connects to it, and assumes it’s connected to the correct web server. Data is sent over the connection in clear text. An eavesdropper on a Wi-Fi network, your internet service provider, or government intelligence agencies like the NSA can see the web pages you’re visiting and the data you’re transferring back and forth. Usually, there is no way to confirm if you are connected to the appropriate website. If this website is http, it means it is not secure for you. This http website is an imposter site and can take advantage of your vital details such as your passwords and credit card details. In most cases, identity theft and other fraudulent activities happen.
How HTTPS Encryption Protects You
HTTPS connections are secure. They (HTTPS-secured servers) secure sites will automatically redirect you to HTTPS. Here, your web browser checks the website’s security certificate to verify it was issued by a legitimate certificate authority. Whenever you search a website and you see “https://bank.com” in your web browser’s address bar, know that you are in real website. The company that issued the security certificate vouches for them. However, in certain occasions, certificate authorities, give bad certificates and cause troubles. When you send sensitive information over an HTTPS connection, no one can eavesdrop on it in transit. Without HTTPS, there will be nothing like secure online banking and shopping.
Further, HTTPS gives more privacy to normal web browsing. Today, people cannot see what another person is searching for on Google.com, Wikipedia and other websites. But they were not like this before.
Why Leave HTTP Behind?
The fact is that HTTPS was formerly meant for passwords, payments, and other sensitive data, but the entire web is now moving towards it since it is secure.
For instance, in the USA, Internet service providers snoop on peoples’ web browsing history and sell it to advertisers. Once the web moves to HTTPS, they will not have access to much of that data, in the end, you get some browsing privacy.
Furthermore, HTTP permits your Internet service provider to tamper with the web pages you’re visiting. In most cases, they add content to the web page and modify the page. For example, ISPs could use this method to inject more advertisements into web pages you visit. However, HTTPS does not allow ISPs or any other one to tamper with web pages.
In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked some vital documents in the internet. However, the US government is always monitoring the web pages visited by Internet users around the world. Due to this problem, a lot of technology companies started increasing encryption and privacy. Since then, they have been moving to HTTPS. Sadly, not all governments find it easy to monitor web pages used by people.
What motivates Websites to Dump HTTP?
With HTTPS, web pages load faster. With the new HTTP/2 features, all web browsers must have HTTPS encryption if not, they cannot access it. Also, Google is making HTTP less valuable by penalizing websites for using it. Google plans to flag websites that don’t use HTTPS as unsafe in Chrome. Also, it intends to prioritize websites that make use of HTTPS in Google search results. No wonder websites are migrating to HTTPSS.
How to Check if You’re Connected to a Website Using HTTPS
To know if you’re connected to a website with an HTTPSS connection, check the address in your web browser’s address bar, if it starts with https:// then know it is secure. There is also a lock icon, click on it for more information about the website’s security. Certain browsers now hide the “httpss://” by default, so you’ll just see a lock icon next to the website’s domain name. However, if you click or tap inside the address bar, you’ll see the “httpss://” part of the address. Whenever you did not see HTTPSS indicator on the login page, just know that you connected to an impostor website on a compromised network.
Watch Out for Phishing Tricks
Even if a site has HTTPS, it does not mean that it is safe. Some of them are not safe at all. A lot of smart phishers know that people look for the HTTPS indicator and lock icon and they disguise their websites. Avoid links in phishing emails. Sadly, scammers also get certificates for their scam servers. Many even change the website’s favicon that is on the address bar to a lock to trick you, just be very careful to avoid being scammed.