What is HTTPS?

Blog Author: Aaron Smith | March 6th, 2015

Given the open design of the Internet and the aim of free and public information sharing within there is still the need to conduct secure communications between parties. This is required generally to fuel the growth of ecommerce demanded of today’s retailers and consumers. Such a secure mechanism has been available and in use for many years, it is known of HTTPS.

When you view a normal web page the information is sent to you using what is known as hypertext transport protocol (i.e. HTTP). This is fast but insecure method of transferring information. To utilise all the benefits of this standard HTTP protocol a technology known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) is layered on top of HTTP to create what we generally refer to as HTTPS or secure HTTP.

Once HTTPS communications have been established between you and the remote server all traffic sent between the two is encrypted so that it can’t be viewed by anyone else. HTTPS also provides authentication between end points due to use of certificates to verify the identity of the destination.

In most cases, the establishment of a secure channel happens seamlessly in your browser. The only thing you may notice is a padlock icon somewhere in the browser indicating that information is now being sent via HTTPS. If you click on the padlock you will get more information about the security certificate in use like shown below.

The most important components of a certificate are who it is issued to (the business you are connecting to), the issuer (the third party that issues and verifies certificates) and the validity period (certificates need to be renewed regularly).

If you are conducting transactions on the Internet that you wish to remain as private and secure you should ensure that you are doing this using the HTTPS protocol. The easy way to check this is ensure that a padlock or security alert is displayed within the browser during this time.

Of course if you have any security questions concerning you Internet transactions contact us here at Correct Solutions (02) 8831 8200.

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