What is HTTPS?


This video explains SSL and HTTPS, how browser uses it to secure data transfer.

HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure


Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a widely used communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network, with especially wide deployment on the Internet. Technically, it is not a protocol in itself; rather, it is the result of simply layering the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) on top of the SSL/TLS protocol, thus adding the security capabilities of SSL/TLS to standard HTTP communications.

In its popular deployment on the internet, HTTPS provides authentication of the web site 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.[1] In practice, this provides a reasonable guarantee that one is communicating with precisely the web site that one intended to communicate with (as opposed to an imposter), 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.

A site must be completely hosted over HTTPS, without having some of its contents loaded over HTTP, or the user will be vulnerable to some attacks and surveillance. E.g. Having scripts etc. loaded insecurely on an HTTPS page makes the user vulnerable to attacks. Also having only a certain page that contains sensitive information (such as a log-in page) of a website loaded over HTTPS, while having the rest of the website loaded over plain HTTP will expose the user to attacks. On a site that has sensitive information somewhere on it, every time that site is accessed with HTTP instead of HTTPS, the user and the session will get exposed. Similarly, cookies on a site served through HTTPS have to have the secure attribute enabled.

HTTPS is especially important over unencrypted networks (such as WiFi), as anyone on the same local network can “packet sniff” and discover sensitive information. Additionally, many free to use and even paid for WLAN networks do packet injection for serving their own ads on webpages or just for pranks, however this can be exploited maliciously e.g. by injecting malware and spying on users

Source: Wikipedia

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Protocols are sets of rules that are followed by machines to complete tasks.
All machines connected to internet follow a common set of protocols.
If they didn’t then communication between devices would not happen.
The method and the language for machines to transmit data, is provided by these protocols.