Have you ever wondered why the letters HTTP or HTTPS suddenly appear in your web browser after a search?  It’s not random.  HTTP is an acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol and HTTPS represents the same acronym followed by the word ‘secure’.  Seen in every browser after every search, it’s important to know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.  Understanding this small distinction just may save you from handing over your information to online hackers.

The Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

Heavily prevalent when the internet was just becoming popular, HTTP links were known as a helpful tool and not a security threat.  In fact, HTTP links were only present to ease the transfer of data from one source to another.  However, as the number of internet users grew, so did the presence of online hackers.  When using the internet, hackers were able to intercept connections to obtain your information.  Easy to accomplish, your financials and logins became clear as day to these online outlaws.  That’s when HTTP Secure extensions emerged.

All HTTPS extensions are protected by Transport Layer Security (TLS) also known by an older protocol name, Secure Socket Layer (SSL).  While TLS has almost completely replaced SSL protocol with better security measures, they both share the same goal: an encrypted and authenticated connection.  These secure extensions are similar to a thick and heavy safe.  Like a safe, no one can get in without a code.  That’s what TLS and SSL connections do: they encrypt your internet connection by scrambling coded data.  With these encryptions, your information suddenly becomes more difficult to hack.

How Browsers are Helping to Keep You Safe

Even with distinguished HTTP and HTTPS links, users still wrestle with internet safety.  That’s why browsers are stepping in to help keep you safe.

Last year, Google started the security initiative and announced that in July of 2018 Google Chrome will spell out if a site is secure or not secure in your web browser.

Encouraging other internet providers to follow suit, Mozilla Firefox took the wheel.  In January of 2018, Firefox declared that “every new web feature must be secured with an SSL or TLS connection.”  Furthermore, Firefox implemented colored locks that will appear on the left-hand side of your browser.  A green lock represents a secure site, a grey lock accompanied by a yellow triangle suggests caution, and a red lock with an ‘X’ shows you that the site is not secure.  These provisions create the user-friendly environment we have all been waiting for, and with time, everyone will know how to remain secure.

In summation, stay safe.  It is imperative to know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS before you click.  HTTPS links do provide the encryption that will help protect you.  And, if you’re not sure about a site, don’t click.  It’s always best to err on the side of caution.  Plus, new browsing features will soon be available to help.  If you’re a visual person, try using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your search engine.  This way secure sites will be spelled out to you or represented by a bright color.  Internet security can be tricky, but with these tips, you will be able to navigate the web like a pro.

If you’d like to know more about how CRU Solutions can help keep your business safer, contact us.