A secure form of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that is used to exchange information between webpages or access information found on a webpage. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, more commonly referred to as HTTPS, encrypts data before it is sent.


A large portion of webpages found on the Internet use HTTP, most often because the information being requested is less likely to need to be secure. For example, accessing a news article is unlikely to involve the exchange of sensitive information. You can tell if a page is using HTTPS by looking at the URL displayed in the web browser. A webpage using HTTPS will start with https://.

Sending or accessing sensitive information on a website is much more likely to be conducted through HTTPS because of its increased level of encryption. Accessing a brokerage account or online banking platform, for example, involves the exchange of information that a user would likely want to remain secure.

Request and response data is encrypted using a security layer such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). In order to speed up encryption, websites place SSL or TLS certificates in libraries where the encoding and decoding of website information takes place.

When navigating a webpage the browser automatically looks at the URL to determine whether the page is using HTTP or HTTPS. If the page is using HTTPS the browser exchanges some SSL parameters with the web server, and then opens up a secure connection. The web browser automatically seeks out the certificate, which doesn’t require any action on the user’s part in most situations.

Webpages tend to perform slower when using HTTPS due to the time required to encrypt information. Because slower pages can provide a poorer user experience, HTTPS is often reserved for pages in which sensitive information is being transferred. The majority of other pages can be coded in HTTP.

  1. Encryption

    Encryption is a means of securing data using a password (key).
  2. Eavesdropping Attack

    An eavesdropping attack is an incursion where someone tries to ...
  3. Credit Card Encryption

    Credit card encryption is a security measure that is used to ...
  4. Search Engine

    A search engine uses algorithms to filter indexed content, and ...
  5. Tor

    Tor is an open source privacy network that permits users to browse ...
  6. Metamask (Cryptocurrency)

    Metamask is a web browser add-in that allows Ethereum transactions ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Making the Most of a Facebook Business Page for Advisors

    These six simple steps will help you make the most of your Facebook business page.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Advisors: Here Are the Website Design Terms You Need to Know

    Advisors should take the time to know what these 12 most used website design terms mean.
  3. Investing

    How Do Internet Browsers Make Money?

    A look into ways that the top 3 Internet browsers make their money.
  4. Tech

    Protect Your Small Business from Cybercrime

    Small business owners are a growing target for cyber-attacks; protect yourself and your clients.
  5. Tech

    Cybersecurity: Protect Yourself This Tax Season

    Take a little extra time to review online communications and avoid becoming a cybercrime victim.
  6. Small Business

    How Did Google Co-Founder Larry Page Get Rich?

    A look at how Larry Page became a billionaire by age 35. He's now worth $52.6 billion.
  7. Tech

    Explaining the Crypto in Cryptocurrency

    Ever wondered about the cryptography involved in cryptocurrencies?
  8. Tech

    Prevent Employees From Hacking You Computer System

    Cyber security attacks from a current or ex-employee can cause a lot of pain. Here is how to avoid such attacks.
  9. Tech

    What You Don’t Know About Cybersecurity Can Hurt You

    Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise—advisors that fail to address underlying issues could face a variety of regulatory actions. Here's what to know.
  10. Investing

    How To Use The Top Yahoo! Finance Tools

    Yahoo has a set of tools that rival the professional ones so individuals are not at a disadvantage. Here is a guide for investors to find the top tools.
  1. How do I find historical prices for stocks?

    Historical stock prices help investors evaluate a company's performance in the public markets over time, and can be a valuable ... Read Answer >>
  2. Why Does Larry Page Pay Himself a $1 Salary?

    Google co-founder Larry Page continues to take an annual salary of only $1 as chief executive officer. Read Answer >>
  3. I lost my share certificate. Do I still own the stock?

    Regardless of whether a shareholder loses his or her stock certificate, that person still owns the shares. However, in order ... Read Answer >>
  4. Is getting a free credit report safe?

    Discover whether getting a free credit report is safe, and find out how to get a legitimate free credit report. Understand ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  2. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  3. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
  4. Dividend

    A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders.
  5. Inventory Turnover

    Inventory turnover is a ratio showing how many times a company has sold and replaces inventory over a period.
  6. Watchlist

    A watchlist is list of securities being monitored for potential trading or investing opportunities.
Trading Center