Everyone recommends that we should not enter private information on the websites without checking HTTPS. But is it enough? Do you consider a site is secure if you see the HTTPS ahead of the URL? If your answer is yes, then I have to say you are wrong.
In the earlier version of Google Chrome, you could see a padlock with Secure written with the HTTPS websites. However, now Google Chrome removes the Secure word to avoid confusion. It was giving a sign that the content of the site is secure. So they had to remove it.
What is HTTPS and what it does?
For those who are not aware of the HTTPS, its full form is Hyper Text Transmission Protocol Secure. It ensures that the information you enter securely reaches to the web server. It is an extension of HTTP, which is a set of rules that provide the smooth transmission of data from your browser to the web server. The problem with the HTTP is, the information you enter in your browser travels in plain text.
Anyone can easily read your sensitive and confidential information in the middle. So HTTPS was created. It encrypts the data before sending and receiving from the server. So, even if someone gets the access, they couldn’t read it. As of now, HTTPS has become the basic standard. Almost, every website runs on secure HTTP. If it is so, then why there are still so much malware? Why isn’t the internet secure yet?
Why doesn’t HTTPS mean a Secure Site?
HTTPS only encrypts the information you send or receive from the website server. It guarantees that no one could read the data except you and the website you are accessing. However, if the site itself tries to exploit the information you entered, they can easily do it. If the website you are accessing contains malware, then HTTPS will not do anything. It will merely encrypt the malware and will download it on your computer.
Probably that’s why Google removes the secure word from the URL field.
Malicious websites can easily get the SSL certificates and get the HTTPS to make them look like a genuine website. If you are accessing such a site, then you are just accessing it over a secured connection. That doesn’t mean the content on the website is safe.
Should we Stop looking for HTTPS?
If HTTPS doesn’t guarantee the safe website, then should we stop bothering about it? NO, HTTPS is still great. It does what it is meant to do. It protects your confidential information like login credentials, banking details, and credit card information. If you are entering such information on an official website, then HTTPS is useful. It encrypts your details so that no one can read your information in the middle. So, you still need HTTPS.
Just looking on HTTPS is not effective, you should make sure the whole URL is accurate. It will keep your information safe from the phishing websites. Cybercriminals could easily create a lookalike website that you access and steal your information.
For example, they could create a fake website like amajon.com and copy everything from the original amazon.com. They can also get the SSL certificate and make the URL https://amajon.com. You will see a secure padlock and then trust on this website. When you enter the login credentials and enter your credit card details, it reaches to the criminals. The HTTPS will work, it will encrypt the information and no one in the middle can access it, but the owner of the website can read it without any effort.
HTTPS make sure that your connection to a website is secure. It doesn’t give you guarantee that the content on the site is safe for you. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop looking for HTTPS sign. It protects your information from reaching in the hands of hackers and cybercriminals. At the same time, you should also check the complete URL of the website and make sure it isn’t a phishing website.