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HTTP or HTTPS? How Secure Is HTTPS Really?

May 07, 2019

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If you use the internet you may notice in a website's address there are the letters HTTP or HTTPS.

You may wonder what HTTP or HTTPS means? You may also wonder how secure is HTTPS vs. HTTP?

We want to share some relevant information about what HTTP and HTTPS mean to your computer's security.

What Is HTTPS?

Over the years HTTPS has changed its definition. Most of us may remember seeing and using HTTPS on our lock icon in the website address bar.

We were usually inputting our password or sensitive payment data on e-commerce pages.

In today's world, the S in HTTPS stands for security. HTTPS is an acronym for hypertext transfer protocol secure.

The reason many company websites now use the HTTPS lock icon in the address bar is that it makes the site secure.

An HTTPS doesn't mean you cannot get hacked but it is definitely something you should have if you receive any customers sensitive data.

This includes any customer data like; birthdate, social security number, checking account number, etc.

What is HTTPS but the least you can offer your customers or website users for security and peace of mind?

Is HTTPS Everywhere Safe?

Is HTTPS Everywhere safe? Is it one of the best ways to practice ongoing website security?

HTTPS Everywhere keeps your users safe when visiting online websites from most threats.

The HTTPS Everywhere term refers to the secure web protocol enabled by SSL/TLS across the entire website.

HTTPS Everywhere gives authenticity to a website's identity. It authenticates website identity while encrypting all the website user's information.

This encryption applies to cookies, viewing, or hacking from anyone who does not have authorization.

As a website user bonus, the HTTPS Everywhere security features also include other safety features. It prevents most instances of spoofing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and injection.

How to Tell if a Website Is Secure

Website users want to know how to secure a website is before they use it. In fact, most website users will not venture past the first page of a website if they are not sure it is secure.

There are two very common theories on ways to see if a website is secure. They are;

  1. Look at the web address lock icon in your website browser and make sure it starts with HTTPS://.
  2. You can also look for a closed padlock picture in your web browser. If you see the closed padlock and click on it, it will let you know there is an encrypted connection.

There are a couple of things you need to remember when clicking on any website. They are;

  • If you do not see the HTTPS:// web address lock icon or the closed padlock picture there is no encryption on the website.
  • If something feels off about the website, trust your instincts. Call the company and ask if this website address is one of theirs.
  • Never stay logged in to any website no matter how safe and secure. Log off each website you use when done.
  • Block all pop-ups ads.

What Does Encryption Mean?

Every website needs to be secure. The secure website of HTTPS combines two protocols. It combines HTTP with SSL/TLS.

Do you need to know how to enable SSL security? Or learn what the difference is between SSL and TLS? SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. TLS is an acronym for Transport Layer Security.

TSL is an updated version of SSL which is better and more secure. Both provide protection against anyone who wants to access your private data information.

TSL gives protection of any data transfer between the user and the website by encryption algorithms.

Encryption algorithms scramble data so no one who accesses the data knows what it is or what it means.

In essence, it prevents criminals and hackers from seeing, using or accessing your information every time you use the web.

How Secure Is HTTPS?

There are varying opinions about h ow secure is HTTPS? Everyone has different opinions and thoughts about what is the most secure website protection available.

The United States federal government put out a memo which states below are the limitations on the security of using HTTPS;

  • IP addresses and any destination website name are not encrypted during communication.
  • Encrypted data on HTTPS traffic has revealed indirect information like;
    • time on the website.
    • size of file or information data requested.
    • size of file or information submitted to the website.

The United States federal government memo goes onto state HTTPS ensures the connection is secure. It does not secure the systems.

Further, HTTPS cannot protect web servers from hacking. Any hacking done to a web service can lead to exposure of user's data information.

The United States federal government goes onto to mandate HTTPS regulations. When agencies are using HTTPS it must support HTTPS with SPDY or HTTP/2 protocol.

HTTP/2 is the latest version of HTTP/1 protocol. SPDY is one of the core parts of the HTTP/2 protocol. The government's mandate is to use HTTP/2. HTTP/2 use allows for site security performance improvements when using HTTPS.

How to Secure Your Website

How secure is HTTPS? Your website should use the HTTPS:// protocol for all its website traffic. You should not use any website which doesn't have the HTTPS:// in the website icon lock address.

If you are creating your own website, you should also use security plugins like bulletproof security. These are a variety of plugin website tools which help you secure a website so your customers will feel safe using it.

Prevent any of your website users from uploading any files to your website is essential. Many times this is a way hackers create website vulnerabilities.

If you wait until you have a breached website or you use a website which steals your data it will be too late for our information to help you.

Don't be a day late and a dollar short in learning how to secure your website. We offer how to secure your website information with videos to learn from.

Or post your own HTTPS or website security tips. Enter our portal of information and drop by today!