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There are a lot of people which gets confused when they see two different URL’s in the address bar, http:// or https:// at the time of browsing a website.
In short, both these are protocols, using which the information of a website is exchanged between Web Server and Web Browser. But what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Why do some websites use one and some use the other? Let’s find out!
What is HTTP?
Http or the hypertext transfer protocol is basically a protocol which allows you to surf the World Wide Web (www) by transferring information in the form of text, image, video, audio and other such files. In other words, HTTP is a system for transmitting and receiving information across server and the client. The Server is the machine where your website code is placed, and the client is nothing but your browser or a set of rules that defines how browsers respond to various commands given by you (e.g., logging onto a website by typing its URL in the address bar) and determines how digital information is exchanged.
Apart from searching and surfing the websites, we also engage in many money transactions, online purchases, and secure file transfers. However, when you are just browsing any website, then there shouldn’t be any concern, the problem comes when you are making a financial transaction over Internet. As we all know, the Internet is not exactly a safe place for any online financial transactions. So how do we really secure such financial transactions? The answer is HTTPS.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS or Secure HTTP is just a secure version of HTTP. The popularity of HTTPS has increased from the last decade, thanks to the increase in people’s awareness regarding their privacy in using the Internet. That’s why now we see a lot of websites using HTTPS instead of HTTP. Now everything you communicate over HTTPS will be sent and received in encrypted form, which adds the safety. When the user connects to a website via HTTPS, the website encrypts the session with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) digital certificate, which uses a cryptographic system that encrypts data with two keys, browser and server, which then sends each other unique codes used for encryption for rest of the talk.
HTTPS is used in many situations, such as log-in to your online banking, corporate logins, and other applications in which data needs to be secured. It is always advised to never enter credit card details on websites running on HTTP.
If you’re casually surfing the Internet, for watching some funny YouTube videos, checking out funny memes or watching any online movies you won’t spot any difference in your surfing experience. However, if a web page asks you to enter your bank account number, address, or any other personal details, it would be a good idea to take a quick look at the URL and check if that ‘S’ is guarding your privacy!