HTTPS (“HTTP over TLS”, “HTTP over SSL”, or “HTTP Secure”) is a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network, with especially wide deployment on the Internet. Technically, it is not a protocol in and of itself; rather, it is the result of simply layering the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) on top of the SSL or TLS protocol, thus adding the security capabilities of SSL/TLS to standard HTTP communications. The main motivation for HTTPS is to provide authentication of the visited website and prevent wiretapping and man-in-the-middle attacks. In its popular deployment on the internet, HTTPS provides authentication of the website and associated web server that one is communicating with, which protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Additionally, it provides bidirectional encryption of communications between a client and server, which protects against eavesdropping and tampering with and/or forging the contents of the communication. In practice, this provides a reasonable guarantee that one is communicating with precisely the website that one intended to communicate with (as opposed to an impostor), as well as ensuring that the contents of communications between the user and site cannot be read or forged by any third party. Historically, HTTPS connections were primarily used for payment transactions on the World Wide Web, e-mail and for sensitive transactions in corporate information systems. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, HTTPS began to see widespread use for protecting page authenticity on all types of websites, securing accounts and keeping user communications, identity and web browsing private.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment