You may not have noticed, but in the address bar of your browser window, websites start with either HTTP or HTTPS. The HTTP and HTTPS represent the procedure or rules that govern how data is transferred between the website you are accessing and the device you are using to access that website. HTTP is not secure; HTTPS is. Most websites that deal with personal data use HTTPS which means your data is encrypted when it is passed between your device and the website you are accessing (like a bank or an online shopping site). There is also a lock in front of your website address to signify that the data is secure. If you click on the lock, the browser will display more information about the security of the website (see the screenshot below).
While this is great, it can lull us into a false sense of security. The encrypted HTTPS connection stops hackers from snooping or tampering with the data being transferred, but it doesn’t stop a scammer from creating a bogus website and making it secure (using the HTTPS rules for accessing that site). You can read more about that in this article. Just because a website is using HTTPS doesn’t mean that all is well – you still need to pay close attention to the red flags I’ve shared in previous Friday Tech Tips.
If you have questions about HTTPS, feel free to reach out to BlazerTech or to me. You can find this, as well as previous tech tips (including the tips on recognizing scams) on our IT portal, http://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips. If you have ideas for future tech tips, tell me about them here.