HTTPS: What does THAT mean?

Maybe while you’ve been surfing the web, you’ve noticed that some pages begin with the normal “http://” while others begin with “https://” Briefly, http refers to hypertext transfer protocol, which is the foundation for data communication on the World Wide Web. So essentially, it’s a big deal. It’s the backbone of how your information is communicated from client to server. This may not make much sense to you, but basically, your information is sent in messages between the server and you, the client. It is done through the hypertext transfer protocol.

So what is the s? The s refers to secure. The s is there to signal to the browser to add an extra layer of protection by means of a SSL/TSL layer (secure stuff, which if you’re interested you can Google and find lots of great resources, but isn’t necessarily essential for your understanding here).

Today, I rechecked my privacy settings (something I check periodically because I’m a paranoid) and noticed that I can now select Account Security and check the Secure Browsing selection under this header. After having checked this, now whenever possible, which I have yet to find it not, my connection to Facebook is via https rather than http. This makes me less susceptible to attacks and hacking, and that, my friends, is added piece of mind.

So go check that little box that says “Secure Browsing.” It won’t do anything but make sure you connect to Facebook with a secure hypertext transfer protocol. But believe me, from someone who does understand all the data communications mumbo jumbo, that one little lowercase “s” means a whole lot more than it looks.

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