HTTPS and SSL in a Nutshell
Often when you’re browsing the internet, you will find a lock beside the URL of the website, which we conclude is a good thing. Rarely instead of the lock, you will find that the word not secure written beside the URL but what does all of this mean, and what’s the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.
HTTP is short for hypertext transfer protocol, which is responsible for building the websites as we see them today. After putting a website URL, your browser connects to the website’s IP address and sends an HTTP request to download (open) the page requested. After the server accepts the request, it sends the data which loads the page for the user and all of this happens in just a second or two. When you see the “not secure” written beside the URL, that doesn’t mean that they are a bad website; it just means that they are not using the secure variation of HTTP, which is HTTPS, but in that case, don’t enter any of your sensitive data into this website because they can be easily stolen however just browsing the website is fine.
HTTPS as we mentioned, is the secure version of HTTP and is short for hypertext transfer protocol secure, which works the same exact way as HTTP but encrypts all the data sent from and to the user so that an attacker cannot steal it during transmission. This is done by adding an SSL certificate that uses a protocol called SSL which also adds the lock logo beside the URL.
SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer which as we mentioned, is responsible for encrypting data over the web. There’s a lot of math involved in the process, but the gist is that there are two cryptographic keys (two very large numbers) and a formula. One of the keys is called a public key that encrypts the data, and the other one is called a private key which is responsible for decrypting the data. The formula (a very complex math formula) is responsible for connecting the two keys. SSL is the original name for the protocol and still is the one used commercially today however, the name was changed to TLS (Transport Layer Security) by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in 1999.
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