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What is HTTPS? What does HTTPS Stand For?


Secure connection
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If you've ever seen an "https" in the URL address of a website, you might have wondered what it stands for. Let's look at this bit by bit:
  • http stands for "Hyper Text Transfer Protocol", the primary technology protocol on the Web that allows linking and browsing.
  • https is "Hyper Text Transfer Protocol" with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), another protocol primarily developed with secure, safe Internet transactions in mind.
So when you navigate to a site such as Amazon or eBay and you go to pay for something, either through a secure shopping cart or an outside payment system such as Paypal, you should see the address in your browser address bar change significantly if the site you have arrived at is a https site, because the https in front of the URL indicates that you are now in a "secure session."

For instance, you might log into your bank account on the Web. You will have to enter in a user name and password, and then after that you'll see your account info. Pay attention the next time you do this, and check the address bar at the top of your browser. It should indicate that you are now in a secure session with the addition of "https" at the front of the URL. For added security, always log out of any secure session when you're done, and especially if you are on a public computer.

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