Will Full HTTPs Sessions Truly Make The Web Safer?

As we move away from the web being treated as a second class medium it is now time for it to grow up as well.

If you want respect from the masses then you are going to have to earn that respect.

You might be asking yourself why I would make the statement that the web doesn’t yet deserve the respect of a full first class communication medium.

The reason why the respect is not there is because it does not yet have the security of the other mediums that are out there.

Yes, you can be wire tapped through your phone but it is very hard to do.

When someone wants to snoop on your computer and see what web sites you are browsing, there are a dozen of different ways that they can get this done.

Indeed there are teenagers out there that can do this very easily.

At this point we really need to start taking security on the web to a higher level.

There is no need for some of the things that still happen on the web to still be happening.


Some web sites have taken security seriously; they use a protocol that is called HTTPs to make sure that when you are surfing their web site that you are going to be secured when you are on there.

In the following article I will discuss what HTTPS means, how it makes your web browsing safer and whether it is all that you need when you are surfing the web.

There is a very big controversy about that right now and we are going to discuss it.

So What Is HTTPS?

So I guess to help you truly understand this protocol I should start from the beginning.

When people think about the internet, they think about one huge network; they rarely think about the layers that the network is built on.

When you have a network, you are going to have several layers that handle the data that travels through the network.

One of the protocols of the World Wide Web is called HTTP which is also known as hypertext transfer protocol and this is the main protocol that the web is built on.

There are other protocols that you might see in your internet adventures, for example, you might see FTP which means Files Transfer Protocol.

There are a few more but the one that we are discussing now is HTTP.

To make a more secure version of this protocol, the creators decided that they were going to add SSL to it.

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and it allows you to transfer data more securely through the HTTP protocol.

The combination together is now known as HTTPS.

When Do You See HTTPS In Use?

You will see HTTPS in use with most secure web sites that you visit.

In other words, if you are on a web site that needs to be secure so that your data is not shown to the world, then most likely that web site is going to use an HTTPS setting.

For example, when you go to a banking web site, you are definitely going to see the HTTPs being used because they are required by law to make sure that your browsing session is as safe as possible.

There are a few other web sites where you are going to see it used but they are not the same – some web sites only use it for certain portions of their content.

For example, some web sites might have you involved with a HTTPs session when you login but will take you back to a normal session soon afterwards and this is when the question is HTTPS truly making the web safer comes up.

When you are only protecting the person when they are logging in then you are only giving them partial protection.

They do not have the peace of mind that their data is always going to be protected.

For example, the web site that only secures you when you login still needs to know that you are logged in so that you are able to access the rest of their content.

They do this by sending a cookie of your credentials for each page that you go to.

Now, when you are sending your credentials after you log in, you are sending them to an unsecured page.

You are back in the same place as if you had never logged in securely at all.

Overall HTTPS does help a lot but we still need a better solution.

If the internet is going to be taken seriously as a first class communication medium, then security will have to be taken seriously.

It will have to be at the forefront for the next couple of years.

If it is not then when it comes to extremely secure information, people will find another way to deliver it.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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