Safety Online: Why HTTPS Matters When Browsing Websites

If you’ve ever noticed a little padlock icon in your browser’s address bar or seen a website with “https://” instead of just “http://,” you might have wondered, “what’s the big deal?”.  

In this blog post, we delve deeper into what HTTPS means and how it impacts your digital browsing experience.  

What is HTTPS and What Does it Do?

HTTPS stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure’.  

One of its primary functions is to encrypt the data transmitted between your browser and a website.  

This encryption ensures that the data remains unreadable to unauthorised parties even if the communication is intercepted.  

This is especially critical when you share sensitive information such as login credentials, bank account details, or other personal data. 

HTTPS is crucial in building trust and confidence between businesses and website visitors.  

How Does HTTPS Work? - Hashed Out by The SSL Store™

Data Integrity

HTTPS not only encrypts data but also ensures data integrity. This means that the data you receive from the website has not been tampered with during transmission.  

Without it, there’s no guarantee that the data you’re receiving hasn’t been altered or compromised in transit.  

Is HTTPS Different to SSL?

HTTPS and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are related but distinct concepts. 

SSL is a protocol designed to establish a secure communication link between a web browser and a web server. It was the original protocol developed for secure data transmission over the internet.  

SSL uses cryptographic techniques to encrypt the data exchanged between the user’s browser and the website’s server, ensuring that even if intercepted, the data is unreadable to unauthorised parties. 

On the other hand, HTTPS is not a protocol in itself, but rather a combination of the standard HTTP protocol and the SSL/TLS protocols. 

HTTPS is essentially HTTP over SSL.  

It uses SSL to encrypt the data transmitted between the user and the server. When a website uses HTTPS, the communication between your browser and the website is encrypted, providing a secure connection.  

What Happens When I Visit a Website Without HTTPS?

When you visit a website with just HTTP, the data transmitted between your browser and the website is sent in plain text.  

This means that the data is readable to anyone who can gain access to it – not just the website owner. Therefore, if the website is intercepted by a cybercriminal, then your data is at risk.  

Modern web browsers often display warnings when users visit websites that do not use HTTPS. These warnings serve as alerts to users that their connection is not secure, potentially discouraging them from entering sensitive information on the site.  

Systemagic Summarises

All in all, HTTPS is an extremely important component of online security and keeping your data safe. We strongly advise avoiding unprotected websites – your browser should warn you if you’re trying to visit a website with just HTTP. 

However, most modern websites have SSL certificates making them fine to interact with.  

Happy browsing! 

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