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Cybersecurity Tips – Role of HTTPS

Cybersecurity Tips – Role of HTTPS

During an age, where 66% of small-to-medium sized businesses' have reported experiencing a cyber attack in the past 12 months, per Ponemon Institute's State of Cybersecurity Report, it is critical that cybersecurity awareness and best practices are spread throughout users beyond technical roles.  Hackers, scammers, and identity thieves are always looking for new ways to steal your or your businesses' personal and information. That’s why it’s critical to take steps to protect yourself while you’re online.  A major step one can take towards their browsing security would be to make sure that the sites you visit use HTTPS.

What is HTTPS encryption?

The standard IP Protocol in nature is not very secure, traffic along the way of the hops between a computer and remote server can be intercepted with ease.  However, the role of encryption protocols such as HTTPS, are designed to protect the transfer data in these scenarios. defines encryption as: "The process of encoding a message so that it can be read only by the sender and the intended recipient."

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, is a secure communications protocol used to send and receive data over the internet. Websites use this protocol to maintain the privacy of their users while fending off foul play.  Data that is transmitted over HTTPS is encrypted, this is a preventative measure that increases the difficulty for third parties to read such data as opposed to the Plain-Text design of HTTP.  This is what allows HTTPS to provide a higher level of security than standard HTTP and is often used for online banking and eCommerce transactions, as well as other sensitive communication.

HTTPS was introduced in 1995, so older websites that have been left without regular maintenance usually don’t have this implemented. But even to this day, unsecure websites exist, and fraudsters can easily take advantage of them.

When you visit a site without an HTTPS connection, everything you type or click on that website is sent without encryption. This means that anyone who intercepts the data transferred between the website and your device can view the information as is. Cybercriminals can use unsecured HTTP connections to gain access to your private data such as a Social Security number or credit card information, making an encrypted connection essential when managing sensitive data.

What role do HTTPS certificates play in cybersecurity?

Upon visiting a given website, your device utilizes an online directory to translate the sites' alphanumeric name into a numerical address.  It then saves that information so that it doesn’t have to check the online directory every time you visit the same website. However, if a computer were to be compromised via an HTTP connection, it could be manipulated into directing a perfectly safe web address, ex. "", to a malicious website instead. Typically, a user would be directed to what are known as "Spoofed Sites", sites created to mirror legitimate websites designed to trick visitors into disclosing private data.

To prevent such incidents, the online directories mentioned earlier issue an ecosystem of certificates that turn HTTP into HTTPS, making it impossible for anyone to be redirected to a fraudulent website. These certificates contain information about the site, such as the domain name, company name, and location. It also includes a public key that is used to encrypt communications between a user’s browser and the website they’re viewing.

How to ensure cybersecurity safety with HTTPS

Here are a few things to consider the next time you browse the internet:

  • If your browser marks a website as “unsafe,”  evaluate the details prior to clicking “Proceed anyway.” Click the prompt only if you are absolutely certain no confidential data will be transmitted.
  • Use trusted web browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere. These extensions encrypt your communication, which is especially useful if you visit unencrypted websites.
  • Always be vigilant that the proper site is being reached and/or accessed. Some sites may have HTTPS, but it doesn’t mean they’re safe. For example, (with the “l” replaced with a one) could have a certificate, but the misspelling clearly indicates that it’s an untrustworthy site. Cybercriminals use similar spellings of authentic websites to fool people into thinking that they’re on a secure site. This is called typosquatting or URL hijacking.
  • Avoid sites that don’t use the HTTPS prefix.

Allow Beringer to evaluate your cybersecurity setting and advise on how to further secure your infrastructure!  Contact us today if you want to learn more about HTTPS and other cybersecurity tips.

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Beringer Technology group can help your employees navigate the ever-changing security threats on the internet. Reach out to Beringer Technology Group today. We can help evaluate your current cybersecurity posture with our Cyber Security Risk Assessment Solution, and implement the right security solutions for your organization.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training,  Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.