CAB* – Web Browsing (HTTP vs. HTTPS) (IT Training Tip)

Image a scenario where you connect your laptop computer to a public or free Wi-Fi hotspot, then open your web browser and connect to your bank, email, and other websites that contain sensitive information about you. Then, hand over your laptop to a complete stranger for 30 minutes and walk away for that period giving them full access to all of the websites you have open.

In reality, you wouldn’t do this (I hope!), but when you are visiting websites that are using  an “HTTP” rather than an “HTTPS” connection, you are opening up a greater opportunity for an individual looking to steal or sniff your private information the ability to do so! Whenever possible, connect to websites that provide you with an “HTTPS” connection, especially when communicating private, sensitive, or confidential information, such as banking transactions, online purchases (credit card numbers), or websites that may require your social security number. And NEVER type in your password on a website that is not utilizing an “HTTPS” connection.

The “S” in “HTTPS” stands for “Secure.” So then next time you are utilizing your web browser and cruising around the Internet, pay particular attention to your browser’s address bar and make sure you are connecting to websites that are using “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP,” –particularly when providing private, sensitive, or confidential information!

The next time you access your Bates email account via a web browser, check out the address bar and you will see that you are interacting with the website in a Secure way because of the “HTTPS” at the beginning of the web address.

*CAB – Cyber Aware Bobcat

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