Many regular Web users notice that many domain names include “HTTP” while others use “HTTPS” without actually knowing how they differ. Even website owners who are familiar with use of “HTTP” and know that it stands for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol” may not know the significance of the additional letter “S” at the end. The major difference is one of security. HTTPS stands for “Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.” After realising this important difference in the two, the next question many people have is, “What makes one more secure than the other, and how does this affect websites and their content?”

Primary Differences in the Security Levels of Websites that Use HTTP and HTTPS

Main differences in the overall security levels of websites that use HTTP and HTTPS can be explained as follows:

• Websites with HTTP. – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is a term for an application layer protocol concerned with the way in which data or content is presented rather than with how this information arrives at Point B from Point A. It has no memory to recall material or processes from any earlier Web sessions. HTTP runs on TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) Port 80, the port from which your computer needs to transmit and receive data in order to successfully make use of HTTP.

• Websites with HTTPS. – Operating on TCP Port 443, HTTPS functions in connection with another protocol, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which safeguards the security of transported data. For example, this additional security measure makes product purchasing sites and web checkout-payment pages with HTTPS safe for entering personal identity data and credit card numbers. SSL truly has no interest in what your personal data is or looks like.

While HTTP has done its job once it presents the data you need via your Internet browser, HTTPS can determine the difference between one data sender and/or receiver and another. With the aid of mathematical algorithms, SSL encrypts data, shielding its real meaning. This encryption is possible only after the site owner purchases a certificate that has time sensitivity.

How Use of HTTPS in Domain Names Keeps Your Data Safe from Hackers

Simply put, when domain names use HTTPS, computers then make use of a code, scrambling data and messages with this code in order to keep your valuable information from being intercepted and understood by online hackers and identity thieves. Computers use the “secret code” on an SSL known as Transport Layer Security (TLS) to safely send and receive your data.

A computer owner’s public key is contained within an SSL certificate, and the owner shares this public key with other Internet users who have need of it for the purpose of encrypting messages to the computer owner. By sending these Web users the SSL certificate, the computer owner enables these users to also encrypt messages to the owner. The owner never shares the private key. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is the process structure for exchanging public keys via the SSL certificate to facilitate HTTPS, SSL and TLS (Transport Layer Security).