Do You Know the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?
by Chantelle Graywheeler, Olds Municipal Library
When it comes to “http” and “https”, knowing the difference between the two can ensure that you have safe and secure internet transactions. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and is the main foundation for data communication when it comes to surfing on the internet.
The ‘S’ that comes after HTTP essentially means that it contains an embedded coding system designed to keep your information secure. The type of data communicator that a website uses can be seen by looking at the URL at the top of the screen, such as http://www.google.ca or https://login.live.com. Security is very important when it comes to things such as online banking, checking your emails, or shopping (for clothes, house appliances, etc.) through a website. As an example, if you were to fill out a form on an HTTP website, the website is communicating with your computer and the internet in an unsecured way, making it very easy for someone else to hack into this information and take advantage of it.
HTTPS however, ensures that your interaction over the internet is strictly between you and the website you are on. When it comes to making transactions and giving out personal information over the internet, making sure that the website is HTTPS is very important. However, it is not guaranteed that your information is completely safe from computer hackers, especially if the HTTPS coding is not implemented properly.
Ultimately it is up to the person sharing their personal information to ensure that the website they are on can be trusted, by being aware of the URL and doing research to make sure that the website is that of a trusted company or organization.