Most web addresses begin with “HTTP”, which is an acronym for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.” It’s the protocol used to allow you to communicate with web sites.
If you spend any time looking at web addresses you should have seen the addition of an “s” appear in the HTTP. “HTTPS” stands for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure.” This means, and informs the end user, that the information exchanged between you and the web site is encrypted and cannot be hijacked by someone who is electronically eavesdropping.
You should look for the “s” when doing business – especially when you’re doing business online in various public places (your favorite coffee shop that offers free WiFi or an airport). Transferring information such as a credit card number, a password, a social security number or any other personal information can be taken out of “thin air” by a hacker if you are not doing business with an “HTTPS” web address.
Please note that you may be on a website looking at making a purchase of something and the web address only shows an “HTTP” address, that’s okay. It’s when you click to make the purchase that you’ll want to check for the “HTTPS” before you give out your financial or personal information.
It’s becoming common practice that most sites will direct you to an “HTTPS” site for the purchase process. If you don’t see it I would certainly think twice about where you are making your purchase.