Do You Know the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?

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.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-http-and-https.htm

http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2007/07/http-vs-https

http://www.theinfostrides.com/index.php?topic=11480.0

This entry was posted in Tech Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do You Know the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?

  1. Bill says:

    Your description of the difference between http and https is concerning because you are misleading your readers with inaccurate information.
    1. Just because the protocol being used to render a web page is https, the information you provide through a website isn’t necessarily secure was presented as though it was an afterthought. This point is extremely important and should probably be the first thing said in a comparison like this.
    2. You state that “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.” Email is not rendered via https. Nor are many aspects of on-line banking and shopping.
    3. “… 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.” Websites don’t communicate with your computer or the internet. They are merely special text files, incapable of communicating with anything, transmitted over the internet.
    4. Stating that it is very easy for someone to “hack” into the information transmitted through standard http suggests that anyone and everyone can do it. That’s just plain false.
    I’m very disappointed the technological leaders in our community are presenting such poorly researched hogwash to their patrons.

    • deano says:

      Thanks for taking the time to give your perspective on this topic.

      For more information on HTTP and HTTPS, readers can click on the live links at the end of the article to review the information used in researching this topic.

      We appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing from our readers on this and any of the other posts to our blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *