Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the newer and more secure version of HTTP, the protocol that data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connecting to. All communications sent over HTTP connections are seen in plain text and can be read by any hacker that breaks into the connection between your browser and the website you are connecting to. It is important to use HTTPS, it ensures that any data transmitted along the connection is encrypted. Most web browsers show the user a lock icon in the address bar to signal to the user that an HTTPS connection is being used. The icon that verifies a site uses HTTPS is small, but the security it gives is huge. HTTPS is often used to protect online financial transactions like banking and online shopping.
HTTPS pages use one of two secure protocols to encrypt communications, SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, or TLS, which represents Transport Layer Security. “SSL and TLS are both cryptographic protocols that provide authentication and data encryption between servers, machines, and applications”. TLS is simply the newly released version of the protocol and has improvements based off the previous version, SSL. Although TSL is the newer version, both are still being implemented today. When you request an HTTPS connection to a webpage, the website will respond by sending its SSL/TLS certificate to your browser to verify your connection is secured. This gives the user peace of mind when entering their passwords, account numbers, and other confidential data into the site.