HyperText Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a communication protocol used to access information from a secure web server. HTTPS uses strong encryption to prevent others from reading or hijacking data when it is in transit between a secure web server and a browser.
Terms related to HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Browsing, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).
HTTPS is a way to transfer information, typically between a web browser and a web server, without that information being intercepted and used by a third party (e.g. a criminal or hacker). If a web server is secured through a particular security protocol and encryption certificate (typically SSL or TLS), then all browser requests and website data transfers will be made via HTTPS.
HTTPS is becoming increasingly important due to an increase in SaaS and other web applications, the need to transmit and receive sensitive information, the rise in data breaches, and compliance requirements.
HTTPS is often used for accessing private web applications, for login and authentication, to protect financial or medical data, and for any systems that may be vulnerable to outside attack.
HTTPS works by encrypting individual “data packets” through a specific algorithm, then transmitting that data packet to a web browser, where the packet is decrypted, and the web page or application can be displayed and accessed. Most web browsers fully support HTTPS access and automatically create secure connections with compatible websites and web servers.