Insights

25 Dec

The difference between HTTP and HTTPs

By Ahmer Ansari

When browsing a website have you ever thought how a website is created or how the information is made live? You check online shopping websites e.g. amazon.in, flipkart.com, and etc. but have you ever wondered how your own information on that site is safe? Whenever you browse a website there is information flowing to and fro from the end user, being you, to the server which processes the information and sends it back to you to see what you want to see.

During this to and fro, your information travels in the form of binary code of 1's and 0's which the browser and server understand. Now these servers and browsers have also been built by humans who can also understand the same code. How can this information that goes to and from the end user to the server and vice versa be safe.

Next time whenever you browse a website, look at the address bar and you will see http or https at the start of the URL. What does this mean? Why http and https? Does https have to do with security and http not? So you may be thinking the letter 'S' Why? Whenever you think of the letter 'S' you always think of words like Safe, Secure, and Safety. Really?

Well in fact, you are right. This simply means that whatever information travels from the end user to the server and vice versa is encrypted from 1's and 0's to a different language that only the server and browser understand.

How things work

There are two types of request which goes from user to the server and server also sends back the details in same way. So, what's the difference between http and https, let’s first the see the full form of the same http - hypertext transfer protocol and https - hypertext transfer protocol secure.

To be secured or not to be secured.

HTTP and HTTPS: What do they do, and how are they different?

Instead of HTTP, this website uses HTTPS. Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a "code" between them, and then they scramble the messages using that "code" so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.

They use the "code" on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), sometimes called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to send the information back and forth. How does HTTP work? How is HTTPS different from HTTP? We will see further how SSL, HTTP and HTTPS work

How Does HTTP Work?

In the beginning, network administrators had to figure out how to share the information they put out on the Internet. They agreed on a procedure for exchanging information and called it HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

Once everyone knew how to exchange information, intercepting on the Internet was not difficult. So knowledgeable administrators agreed upon a procedure to protect the information they exchanged. The protection relies on SSL Certificate to encrypt the online data. Encryption means that the sender and recipient agree upon a "code" and translate their documents into random-looking character strings.

How Does HTTPS Work?

The procedure for encrypting information and then exchanging it is called HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). With HTTPS if anyone in between the sender and the recipient could open the message, they still could not understand it. Only the sender and the recipient, who know the "code," can decipher the message. Humans could encode their own documents, but computers do it faster and more efficiently. To do this, the computer at each end uses a document called an "SSL Certificate" containing character strings that are the keys to their secret "codes."

SSL certificates contain the computer owner's "public key."

The owner shares the public key with anyone who needs it. Other users need the public key to encrypt messages to the owner. The owner sends those users the SSL certificate, which contains the public key. The owner does not share the private key with anyone.

The security during the transfer is called the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). The procedure for exchanging public keys using SSL Certificate to enable HTTPS, SSL and TLS is called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

So now you know why when open any shopping site and normal websites you see https:// and https:// This is my first blog I will be back with more topics which are web based.

*Reference:- InstantSSL https://www.instantssl.com/https-tutorials/what-is-https.html

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