Always use HTTPS when logging in
- +What is https?
HTTP is the most commonly used language on the Internet, but it has its weaknesses and risks. That is why computer specialists came up with the idea to convert HTTP into HTTPS. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secured’, which is being achieved by encrypting the communication. Safer surfing the Web is ensured by encryption.
- +What is encryption?
- Encryption is a technique that ensures electronic communication (e.g. internet) is sent in an unintelligible format, causing other people, often with bad intentions, not being able to read any part of the message. Indicator of this encryption on the Internet is the ‘s’ in HTTPS. Websites starting with HTTPS are therefore more secure than the regular HTTP websites.
- +How does encryption work?
- Encryption actually has been around for a very long time. For example, it was already being used during the war, when important messages were converted into numbers or unintelligible words to ensure the enemy was not able to read them. Only their own troops knew how to convert it back into intelligible text, recreating the original message.
You can easily do this yourself amongst friends. For example, reverse everything you say to one another (e.g. start with the last letter of each word):
“I am your friend” becomes “I ma ruoy dneirf”.
You will notice that your other classmates often will not understand you, but your friend will. It is similar online, only more difficult and thus more secure.
- +Tips from PaSMaN?
- It is clear that encryption, meaning the use of HTTPS websites, is more secure than regular HTTP websites. Make sure to check whether a website is an HTTPS website. If this is not the case, it does not always mean bad things will happen, but you should be on your guard.
If you are asked to share any information or have to make any online payments, never do so if it is not an HTTPS website. You do not want anyone spying while making your payment and, maybe, capturing information that can give him access to your personal bank accounts.
Use HTTPS for online payments and for logging into a website
If you want to log into a website or you want to pay for your online purchase, always make sure that it happens in a secure manner.
Always check whether transfer of your information happens in a proper way. If you can see a green lock in the left corner of the address bar and https:// in front of the address, you may assume it is secure.
If this is not the case, you should try and enter https in front of the address and continue your purchase. If this does not work, you better find another shop because all information you send, like your user name, password and credit card information, could easily be intercepted.
Lesson learned: do not buy anything on a website that does not use https.
Also check that the website where you buy things, or the website to which you are redirected to make the payment, are websites you are familiar with or fit your expectations. Banks or web shops do not suddenly change their website. If it does not look trustworthy, make sure to double check. How? Did you for example receive a newsletter or email from your bank informing you that the interface of online banking was going to change? Try and check the domain as well. How? You can read this here.