The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

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We often get asked what does it mean when you see an HTTPS in the URL instead of HTTP so we figured it would be good to provide our clients with a simple explanation of what it means.

Simply put, HTTP is an acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol which is a language/protocol that allows the internet to communicate. Your web browser has a place where you can input URLs like http://www.infuse.ca and when you enter value, a message is sent off to a web server somewhere telling it that you want to see that webpage. The web server receives the request, formats a reply using the HTTP protocol and returns it to the browser for display. So to summarize, the HTTP standard allows browsers and web servers to communicate to perform various actions.

Now for HTTPS, it means that the communication between the browser and server is encrypted which means that the communication. Yes, the S in HTTPS stands for secure. While surfing the web for information, you normally do not need the encrypted connection but if you are logging into your bank or other services like Facebook/Google+/Twitter, you should see the HTTPS in the URL because the information you are sending, such as your username and password, is private and you do not want others seeing it. The same applies for when you are purchasing something online and you are providing your credit card information.

Note that simply seeing the S in the URL does not mean that a particular website is safe. It simply means that the communication between your browser and their site is secure. When providing sensitive information to a website, make sure that the site is reputable. A quick search online can usually provide you with some reviews but that is another story.

Posted by Darcy Peters
Tagged in General

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