Written by 11:58 am Cyber Security

HTTPS: the secure way of browsing the internet – or not?

In 2014 internet browser manufacturers decided to make all http traffic appear less secure than https traffic. In layman’s terms – everything with ‘green padlock’ is good – everything without it is bad and not secure.

What exactly does HTTPS mean?

To answer the question, we need to quickly look into what HTTPS is (or the green padlock) and how it works. In layman’s terms, it means the internet (aka network) traffic between your device where your browser resides and the server where the content is delivered. It has been encrypted by using a cryptographic protocol called TLS – Transport Layer Security. In the simplest terms – TLS is a protocol designed to maintain a secure and private channel of communication of computer network. By adding S (as secure) to HTTP (as in Hypertext Transport Protocol) we are getting the HTTPS protocol. Our browser then will be marked as secure and will display a green padlock or will mark the website we are visiting as secure.

How does it protect you?

However, these are not exactly SECURE or SAFE. HTTPS means that the communication between your browser and the server where the content is located is encrypted and private. It means, someone who is eavesdropping on your connection will not know what you are ‘talking’ about and that data between you and the content server is safe. But it does not make the website and its content SECURE. If the website is malicious, and it was created to infect your device with malware or to steal your personal information, it will still be that. It will still be a malicious, dangerous website but with encrypted connection between your browser and the server it is residing on.

The misunderstanding of the ‘green padlock’ or ‘secure’ website via HTTPS became problematic enough to prompt FBI to release a Warning about it.

Find out how you can stay protected online with the Cyber Liability Insurance through First Ireland.

Check the First Ireland website or call us at 01 882 0872

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