HTTP vs HTTPS
The significance of S:
Http or the hypertext transfer protocol is something we use when we access the internet. Though we seldom notice it if at all, it plays a very essential role. Http defines the methodology and rules of transporting data from the servers of the site we like to view down to our computer and vice versa. To most of us non-technical people, this should no longer be our concern just as long as we get what we asked the server for.
The problem with http though is that it is vulnerable to people who might want to eavesdrop or see what your activity is all about. This too shouldn’t really be a serious problem if all you are doing is watching stupid videos in youtube or googling your assignment. Most of our activity on the internet isn’t really that important for people to really care about. And even though it is there to see, no one who knows how to do it would actually bother to waste the time or face the possible legal implications of such acts.
The true problem arises when you are sending or receiving data that is confidential or sensitive. You sure wouldn’t want other people knowing what your personal emails contain. Private messages should stay private. Then there are on-line transactions, when you buy something and you pay for it with your credit card, your credit card number gets sent across the internet every time. And if you are using http to do this then it should be real easy for malicious people to do harm to you or your finances.
The Internet’s answer to this is https or HTTP over SSL is a secured connection that transmits data over the internet in an encrypted form. This security method means that even if someone is eavesdropping, the data they get would not be comprehensible or usable because they don’t have the means to decrypt it. The entire message is decrypted only when it arrives at its designated location.
So why don’t we shift everything to https? So that everything is secured. Although that is possible, it isn’t very advisable. Transmitting data via https require additional processing power to encrypt/decrypt the data. When you think about the servers who process millions if not billions of data in a day, that could result In massive slowdowns. That is why https is only used in certain pages that contain sensitive information like credit card numbers or passwords.
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