You may have noticed during your various online escapades that the ever familiar HTTP in front of a domain name occasionally turns into the less familiar HTTPS. Depending on your browser, this may also be accompanied by a color change in the address bar to green, a lock symbol, or other signs that make the URL field look different from what you’re used to. What does it mean? Does it really make a difference?
The difference between HTTP and HTTPS
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is the procedure for information exchange that allows words, images, video, and audio to be shared over a web page via HTML. HTTPS, on the other hand, stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure and indicates a secure connection that encrypts the communication between the website and your internet browser. The same information is shared and transferred between the two connections, but it does so in a coded manner that ensures that only the sender and receiver understand the message.
That’s why it is common to see https on websites or web pages that request personal information, like your bank account or credit card number. In fact, whenever you browse the web you should be on the lookout to make sure that you only share sensitive information on websites that use HTTPS rather than HTTP.
How is HTTPS secured?
So if HTTPS offers a more secure connection, how can you get HTTPS in your own URL string? SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates work to encrypt the transfer of data and protect user information. Not only do they protect you and your website from security vulnerabilities, but they also show customers that their information will be protected when they submit it on your site. SSL certificates should used to secure credit card transactions, forms, account login fields, email, corporate communications, file sharing, and more.
There are several different types of SSL certificates out there, all with different price points and various levels of security. This extra level of security is encouraged for anyone with a website that requests user information, so it’s important to find and choose a SSL certificate that it suitable for your needs.