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What are HTTP and HTTPS?

Most people have seen the letters “HTTP” that shows up in their browsers’ address bar,but they might not know what it means.
To fully grasp the measures being taken by many websites ,such as Amazon and Paypal,to better manage their data,you have to realize what HTTP is and how it functions.

This is what HTTP is.
It means HYPERTEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL,and it’s an application layer protocol.

The definition of ‘protocol’ is ‘the official procedure or system of rules governing certain affairs.
So to put it simply,this is the official procedure or system on which transmitted information is sent
from your browser to the website you are visiting.

This information that’s being transmitted between your browser and the website is transmitted in plain text,
which means that if somebody managed to gain access to the connection,it would be very easy to see the data
and information that you are seeing and sending on the website.

This is highly problematic and dangerous when you are entering critical information,such as credit card numbers when making on-line purchases,or filling out location information on Facebook.

The move to HTTPS.difference-between-http-and-https-w654
In essence,HTTPS is the same protocol as HTTP,the major difference being levels of security.

HTTPS means HYPERTEXT TRANFER PROTOCOL SECURE, and instead of being a stand alone application layer protocol, it uses a separate system
called SECURE SOCKETS LAYER (SSL) and TRANSPORT LAYER SECURITY (TLS).

Both HTTP and HTTPS don’t concern themselves with how data gets from point A to point B,but the Secure Sockets Layer that is used by HTTPS enables the data to travel on a safe route to its’ final destination, without actually concerning itself with the information that’s being transmitted.

The SSL will also encrypt the data being transmitted so that the real function and meaning of the data,for example Social Security numbers or credit card numbers,becomes extremely difficult to be deciphered by someone trying to see and steal this data.

Today most web browsers utilize HTTPS to enhance the security of web browsing.Google Chrome,Firefox and Internet Explorer all display a padlock icon
to prominently identify a secure HTTPS connection to any website that uses it.

Millions of websites support HTTPS so that their visitors can see and send information securely without third party intervention into their private business.

What does this mean for you as the owner of a niche website?

It means that HTTPS is another great tool for your website in your efforts to monetize it.Some Affiliate programs prefer you having it on your website,some don’t.You have to research each program individually.It also is the best way to sell your own products on your website because it
assures a safe and secure way of accepting credit card payments.

The speed test

The greatest benefits of HTTPS for users are faster speeds and connections than HTTP.The reason is that websites utilizing HTTPS are already certified as being secure,and as such,are simply tunneled to the website visitor.

With HTTP,which is unencrypted,data must be scanned,filtered or cached,meaning more information being transmitted,thus slowing down page load speed.
Most people want websites to load quickly and function quickly,making HTTPS the better system.

A final note.

Even though HTTPS is the superior protocol when visiting websites,and a website is using SSL encryption,internet users are not completely safe from phishing or other scams.
SSL is not like a Virtual Private Network.It’s an encryption system that is used in the browser,which means any non-browser based internet use can still be intercepted and corrupted.
Keep in mind,a Virtual Private Network is a dedicated encryption tunnel,and all the information transmitted through it is unreachable to the outside world.

Start learning today.


3 comments

Many thanks for this simple but effective explanation regards the difference between HTTP & HTTPS. I believe most websites do need the secure platform in this age of advance hacking system. Indeed hackers get sophisticated more and more, and businesses be better prepared.

Good evening Thomas,

I am very pleased to have found this site where those technical terms are explained in an understandable language. You see I struggle with these computer and internet concepts, to me, it appears from outer space. So thank you very much for this helpful post as it made some things clear to me.

Regards, Taetske

Thank you for your comment Taetske, and thank you for visiting my website. I know that many of the terms used in building a website can be hard to understand, and that was my reason for writing this post. Don’t be discouraged by this challenge, just take your time and learn at your own pace. All the best to you .

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