What is HTTPS and why is it important?

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Obviously, the Internet is an inexhaustible source of resources. Indeed, many positive elements can be found there. However, there is also harmful and damaging content. For example, criminals can trick online banking users to obtain their access data. Similarly, someone can set up a public WiFi hotspot to spy on the communication between two people. In the beginning, all Internet data traffic was handled openly, in plain text, and easy to hack. Indeed, the HTTP protocol mediated communication between the client (browser) and the webserver without encryption. As a result, it facilitated criminal attacks. Fortunately, the HTTPS protocol has been developed. Which seeks to make web browsing much more secure. Next, we will see what the HTTPS protocol is and why it is important.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. In simple terms, the transfer protocol is the language in which the web client and the web server communicate with each other. HTTPS is a version that uses secure encryption for communication.

HTTPS Purpose

The main purpose of HTTPS is a broad concept. However, we can summarize it in two elements:

  • Communication between the web client and the webserver is encrypted. This system prevents a third party from accessing the data. For example, through a WiFi connection.
  • The web server authenticates itself by sending a certificate to the browser right at the beginning of the data transmission. This guarantees the reliability of the domain. This measure prevents fraud by fake websites.

Differences between HTTP and HTTPS

Technically there is no difference between the two. Since the syntax is the same. However, HTTPS uses a special transmission protocol, called SSL/TLS. Therefore, it is not the type of protocol that offers more security. It is the type of transfer. The following table details the basic differences.

HTTPHTTPS
TransmissionUnencryptedEncrypted
CertificateNoYes
Port number80443
URL Addressinghttp://https://

All current web browsers warn the user when accessing a web page under the HTTP protocol. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for warning signs.

On the other hand, a page using HTTPS will look like this

How does HTTPS work?

The HTTP protocol regulates how the content that the browser and the web server exchange with each other should be structured. The transfer protocol, on the other hand, indicates how data flows are transferred between computers. Besides, the standard transfer protocol, which is also used by HTTP, is TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). On the other hand, there is an extension of this transfer protocol that encrypts data flows, called TLS. All data transmitted using this protocol is encrypted. Consequently, only the actual recipient (the browser or webserver) can access the transferred content. When a URL begins with HTTPS://, the browser automatically adds the port number 443. This value, therefore, indicates to the receiving computer that it must communicate via TLS/SSL.

Why HTTPS encryption is important

The ability of hackers to manipulate websites is increasing. It is therefore important to encrypt data flows. Especially in open access networks, such as public WIFI hotspots. Fortunately, HTTPS is the new standard. As you could see, web pages that do not have the certificate are negatively highlighted or blocked by current browsers. In addition, it likely to have a positive effect on Google’s ranking. Okay, we have seen what HTTPS is and why it is important. Website administrators have one more tool to improve site security. Okay, that’s all for now. Before I go, I invite you to see our post about domain names. Bye!

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