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Thread: http vs https: Do you know the difference?

  1. #1
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    Exclamation http vs https: Do you know the difference?

    Trudy sent me an e-mail on the differences between http and https, which I thought you all might find helpful. I've also added some more information and links to further reading. If you have any questions, just ask!

    Do you know what the difference between http and https is?

    **The main difference between http:// and https:// is that https is secure, http is not**

    HTTP stands for HyperText Transport Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying it's a protocol (a language, in a manner of speaking) for data to be passed back and forth between web servers and clients (such as your computer). The important thing is the letter 'S' which makes the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

    The 'S' (big surprise) stands for "Secure".

    If you visit a Web site or Web page, and look at the address in the Web browser, it will likely begin with the following: http://.

    This means that the Web site is talking to your computer using the regular 'unsecure' language. There are many reasons to use http vs. https (namely download speed), but the downside is that it is possible for someone to "eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with the Web site. If you fill out a form on the Web site, someone might see the information you send to that site. This is why you never -ever- enter your credit card information or social security number on a Web site which is only http and not https!

    But if the Web address begins with https://, that basically means that your computer is talking to the Web site using a cryptic language which is much harder to eavesdrop on.

    You understand why this is so important, right?

    If a website ever asks you to enter your credit card information, you should automatically look to see if the Web address begins with https://.

    If it doesn't, then you shouldn't ever enter sensitive information like a credit card or social security number on that Web page! Doing so anyway could lead to identity theft, which we don't want to have happen to you!

    PASS THIS INFORMATION ON (You may save someone a lot of grief)

    Https is used in many situations, such as log-in pages for banking, forms, corporate log ons, and other applications in which data needs to be secure. However, if not implemented properly, https is not infallible, and therefore it is extremely important for end users (you) to be wary about accepting questionable certificates and cautious with their personal information while using the Internet.

    If you're interested in more information, this site does a good job of further explaining the differences between http, https, and ssl:

    http://ganeshkedari.wordpress.com/20...http-vs-https/

    and if you're looking for more technical and up-to-date details, check out the Wikipedia article on https:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https
    Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it - William Arthur Ward
    Today is the FIRST day of the REST of your life...what will YOU make of it?
    No trees were harmed in making this post. However, millions of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


  2. #2
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    Thanks, Madclikr. Good info.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this info, Madclikr.
    I've only looked for the little padlock and thought I was safe!!!
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    --Jimi Hendrix

  4. #4
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    A lot of browsers will add a padlock icon and/or highlight the address in yellow if the Web site is using https - it's a quick and easy way to make sure that the connection is secure!
    Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it - William Arthur Ward
    Today is the FIRST day of the REST of your life...what will YOU make of it?
    No trees were harmed in making this post. However, millions of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


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