Difference between http:// and https://
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a communication system designed for transmitting and receiving information over the Internet. It serves as a protocol facilitating interaction between a client and a server, enabling seamless communication with various websites. HTTP operates primarily in plain text, making it easily readable by anyone, including binary files like images, rendering it unsecured. When a client seeks to access a website hosted by an HTTP server, it initiates a request message following the TCP handshake, and the server responds with a corresponding response message. While HTTP is frequently used to retrieve HTML pages from web servers, it also supports access to a diverse range of resources beyond just web pages.
HTTP Vs. HTTPS
- HTTP is the standard protocol used for web communication and is the foundation of data transfer on the World Wide Web.
- It operates over a bidirectional tunnel, allowing the exchange of data between a client and a server.
- HTTP is a plaintext protocol, meaning that data transmitted over the network is not encrypted and can be read by anyone who intercepts it.
- As a result, sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and personal data, is vulnerable to interception by malicious actors, posing significant security risks.
- Since data is not encrypted, HTTP is not suitable for secure transactions or protecting users' privacy.
- It is used for general web browsing, displaying static content, and accessing public information.
- HTTPS is an extension of HTTP that incorporates an extra layer of security through encryption. It works by tunneling the HTTP protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) connection.
- When a user connects to a website using HTTPS, the server presents a digital certificate to verify its identity, ensuring a secure and authenticated connection.
- The SSL/TLS encryption process ensures that data transmitted between the client and the server is protected and cannot be easily intercepted or tampered with.
- With HTTPS, all communication, including sensitive data, is encrypted, making it secure against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
- As a result, HTTPS is essential for safeguarding user privacy, securing online transactions, and protecting sensitive information, making it a critical requirement for e-commerce websites, online banking, and any other platform that handles personal or financial data.
- Many web browsers display a padlock icon in the address bar to indicate a secure HTTPS connection, which helps users identify secure websites.
While HTTP is the standard protocol for web communication, it lacks encryption and is susceptible to security risks. On the other hand, HTTPS provides an extra layer of security through SSL/TLS encryption, making it the preferred choice for secure online transactions and protecting users' sensitive data. As cybersecurity concerns continue to grow, the adoption of HTTPS is becoming increasingly important to ensure data privacy and maintain trust with users.