If you are a person that wants to get involved with computer security then there are a few things that you must learn about.
One thing that you must learn about is how a network works.
If you are clueless about a network, then you will never be able to understand the internet since it itself is one big network.
Another thing that you must understand after that is the layers that are on top of the network.
These layers include things such as HTTP and TCP/IP.
These are layers that sit on top of the network that structure the data that you see as a web page.
What we are going to talk about in this article today is the HTTP layer and the headers that come along with it.
After you understand how headers work then I will show you a few tools that will let you see the header information that is coming to your computer.
What Is A Header?
Before we get into what a header is, let’s have a quick discussion about HTTP.
The letters HTTP stand Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.
It is considered the application layer of the network and it is what creates the structure of the web pages that you are reading.
The URL, the request to get or send data, and the error pages that you get when you go to the wrong web page are all part of the HTTP protocol.
This is why you see HTTP at the beginning of a web page.
It is telling you that you are going to a place on the internet that uses that protocol.
There are other protocols as well such as FTP.
So now that we know the basics of what HTTP is, let’s talk about the header information that you get when you go to a web page.
The header data describes the various chunks of data that are coming over the network.
For example, the header data will tell the application that you are using whether you have an image coming or not.
And what type of image it is through the use of a combination of the Content-type header tag along with the mime type.
As you can see there is a lot going on in the background and if you want to know more than a good place to start is Wikipedia.
Tools To Use To See The Header
If you want to be able to see the raw data that is coming to the web site, then you can use a tool like Wireshark to see it.
It will intercept the data packets and allow a user to read it.
But if you want a more clear view of just the header traffic then you can use a tool like the liveHTTpHeader plugin in Firefox.
It will show you just the header information and nothing more.
If you want to get into computer security then tools like these are a great place to start.