HTTP vs. HTTPS: How One Letter Changed Everything

With the way internet culture develops and evolves, you can miss something huge if you blink for too long. Since cyber security continues to become a more pressing subject for businesses of all kinds, paying attention to the details can mean the difference between falling behind and launching yourself ahead. The standard HTTP model is now giving way to HTTPS, which offers better security through stricter protocols. This helps to protect sensitive business information and keep it from falling into the wrong hands. HTTPS seems to be in position to take over entirely at some point, so you should know what this means for your company. Read ahead and find out how one letter changed everything.

The Importance of Cyber Security

If you hear of a crime in your neighborhood, you’re probably going to double check that you locked your doors before you go to sleep. In today’s society, we have a different field of crimes that take place in the digital world, and we need to put protective measures in place so we don’t lose valuable data to hackers. Some of the biggest companies, associations, and government entities have been subjected to cyber security hacks, including Google, Yahoo, and even the Internal Revenue Service. What can we do about this type of digital violation? The switch from HTTP to HTTPS is an example of a step in the right direction.

The Big Difference

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. When you add the ‘S,’ you have Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. The point of this conversion is to make internet connections more secure so that it’s more difficult for cybercriminals to steal information. Aside from the extra letter in the acronym, the difference between HTTP and HTTPS lies with encryption. These terms deal with the way a person’s browser and the website being browsed interact. In the case of HTTPS, every communication is protected through encryption. This is not the case with HTTP, so never enter your credit card information, Social Security number, or any other personal details when you’re on a website that isn’t secured. Chances are you’ll never see a banking website come up as HTTP rather than HTTPS, but if you do, you probably shouldn’t trust it.

How It Works

The whole point of HTTPS is to make internet use more secure, and this is accomplished by following smarter protocols. An HTTPS page may encrypt information using an SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, or a TLS, which stands for Transport Layer Security. This creates a public key and a private key that can be used to protect and secure information. Only the owner of the private key will have access to it, which is a crucial part of this two-part identification system. While the private key simply becomes a part of the web server, the public key is accessible to anyone who needs to decrypt the information. This ensures a secure and trustworthy connection and is in stark contrast to HTTP, which offers plain text connections. That means that hackers will have a much easier time getting the information they’re looking for, which can have devastating results.

Why We Need It

Cyber security hasn’t always been such a prominent issue. As much as we take advantage of the internet and connectivity as normal aspects of our daily lives, both are still young. As the internet blossoms and more and more interactions go through the web, more and more criminals are figuring out how to take advantage of it. Cybercriminals can target anyone at any time, and we need to get ahead of this to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t continue to leak. Countless names, phone numbers, and email addresses are leaked with every cyber security breach, and credit card information and Social Security numbers are stolen this way as well. HTTPS offers a more secure connection between the browser and the website, so users and businesses alike are protected.

Looking to the Future

The way you handle a cyber security breach says a lot about your company. Some businesses have tarnished their reputations by failing to respond to their users appropriately, which in a sense adds insult to injury. As more people learn about HTTPS, they’ll steer clear of websites and browser connections that don’t show the lock icon in the browser’s address bar. Our culture of cyber security has already come a long way over a short period of time, so a great deal of websites are already on board with this change. The hope is that the switch will become universal, and industry heavyweights like Google are leading the charge. Every step we take towards better internet security is a step towards a safer world for businesses and consumers alike.

We learn a lot as we study the internet and its changes over time, and at Pennington Creative, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned with you. It’s our research that has made our team capable of delivering high-quality and up-to-date website content, and we can use our skills to help your business with online marketing.

About the Author

Travis - Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting
Travis Ryan

Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting

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