What is HTTPS? Definition and Working

This article is designed to help people learn the basics of HTTPS along with the topics such as what is HTTPS, working of HTTPS, and the advantages of HTTPS.

What is HTTPS

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is an encrypted version of HTTP. It is not actually the opposite of HTTP. Instead, it is an improved version of HTTP. HTTPS uses a combination of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This establishes a secure encrypted connection between the host server and the browser.

In HTTPS, transactions are carried out with the help of a key-based encryption algorithm. The public key infrastructure (PKI) is used because it is supported by most web browsers, while the private key is used by the webserver of the particular website the user wants to access. The distribution of public keys is done through certificates that are maintained by web browsers. 

When a client starts a connection with a host server, the two devices use the public and private key to agree on new keys, known as session keys, to encrypt further communications between them. Encryption keys are exchanged between the host server and the web browser before the actual data or hypertext.

How does HTTPS work?

Just like HTTP, HTTPS is also used to request web data and display it on the web browser. But, HTTPS has a slightly different working process. Unlike HTTP, HTTPS encrypts requests and responses so an intercepting hacker would not see the actual text a user has entered. Instead, the hacker will see random characters and would not be able to understand it due to the encryption.

The SSL certificate is responsible to encrypt the information that the user enters on the site. The information or data is converted into random code. In addition, TLS provides an extra layer of security. TLS helps provide data integrity, which helps prevent data from being modified or corrupted and authenticated, proving to your users that they are communicating with the intended website.

What is HTTPS - How does https work

Advantages of HTTPS

It encrypts the connection and helps users to do secure online transactions such as online banking.

It uses SSL technology to protect user information from unauthorized sources which builds the trust of users.

Typically, HTTPS uses the redirect option to provide increased security. This means that if a user enters http: // instead of https://, it will automatically redirect to an https:// and establish a secure connection.

An independent authority verifies the identity of the owner of the certificate. Therefore, each SSL certificate contains unique, certified information about the certificate owner.

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