Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, which is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted to allow for more secure data transfers. Any website, especially those that require login credentials, should use HTTPS. In modern web browsers such as Chrome, websites that do not use HTTPS are marked differently than those that are. Look for a green padlock in the URL bar to signify the webpage is secure. Web browsers take HTTPS seriously.

HTTPS prevents websites from having their information broadcasted in a way that is easily viewed by anyone snooping on the network. When information is sent over regular HTTP, the information is broken into packets of data that can be easily “sniffed” using freeware software. This makes communication over an insecure medium, such as public Wi-Fi, highly vulnerable to interception. In fact, all communications that occur over HTTP occur in plain text, making them universally accessible to anyone with the correct tools and vulnerable to on-path attacks. With HTTPS, traffic is encrypted as such that even if the packets are sniffed or otherwise intercepted, they will come across as nonsensical characters.