Why / what difference is between "the old' http://-prefix vs. the https://-prefix in websites?

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Whenever I web-surf, I am prompted to enter THE ENTIRE web-address – with the http://
In the web-programming class I took, years ago, I learned that this-prefix is an abbreviation for hyper-text-transfer-protocol (http.)
Recently, I am seeing more / most / all websites using the httpS://-prefix. I know that

Whenever I web-surf, I am prompted to enter THE ENTIRE web-address – with the http://
In the web-programming class I took, years ago, I learned that this-prefix is an abbreviation for hyper-text-transfer-protocol (http.)
Recently, I am seeing more / most / all websites using the httpS://-prefix. I know that governmental-offices, post offices and other official-sites do use a Secure-jargon in their websites and locations. How / why or IF does everyone else need or use this Secure(?) connotation in our web-lives?

I am merely being curious. Thanks. 🙂

Best Answer:

chasvanblom: If a site uses https, the information the web browser exchanges with the server is encrypted. This is important for every site that has user accounts, since without https the password that was entered by the user is sent as plain text when they login.
It is pretty easy to listen in on other people's browser-server-communication, so when somebody on the same network logs in on a website, the bad guys can actually see something like this:

POST /login.php HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: Whatever/1.0
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 24

user=admin&password=1234

They basically get other people's user accounts served on a silver platter.
HTTPS prevents that.

Other answer:

chasvanblom:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
watson:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
Bell:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
Tim:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
Deirdre:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
no1home2day:
The extra 's' means that the website is secure. That's really the only difference.
cpcii:
http:// means what you said, hyper text transfer protocol. https:// means http Secure, meaning encrypted/secure. Using anything from 64 to 4096 bit encoded.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https

read this wikipedia article about it.
The other answers are correct, but didn't provide enough information. If you don't like it don't say they don't know what they are talking about, do your own research before asking about something so basic as to this question.

V. Perkins:
From Google, when I searched on: "Diff between HTTP and HTTPS"…

"Instead of HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), this website uses HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a "code" between them, and then they scramble the messages using that "code" so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers."

hotnogu:
s mean secured

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