Encryption is the term we use when we talk about a website being secure or protected. It is also referred to as a Secure Connection.
Sending information between websites without encryption opens up the possibility of sensitive data being obtained by someone other than the intended recipient. Keep in mind this has to do with sending and receiving emails too. Emails with sensitive information should not be sent over an unencrypted connection either.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are important components of an encrypted connection. TLS and SSL are protocols that determine the algorithm used to encrypt the data. There are many versions, but we will not go into specific detail in this article. Basically, TLS and SSL encrypt the data when you send it and decrypt it when it gets to it’s destination. The algorithm makes it nearly impossible to read the data between recipients.
Making sure you have a secure connection is always important, but it’s even more important when you are in a public location using a public WiFi connection. It is easy for someone to use packet sniffing software, like WireShark, to see everything you are sending, including login credentials, credit card information etc.
So how do you know if your connection is encrypted? You will need to look at the icons in your browser, usually next to the URL bar.
1) Green lock: This means your connection is secure and safe.
2) Yellow lock: This indicates the site is secure, however, certain elements on the site are not. These non-secure elements could be banners or advertisements from a third party that are not encrypted. At this point entering data should be secure. Always take into consideration the site you are on to determine if sending secure data is a good idea. If you are accessing your bank, there should be no issue.However, if you are unsure in any way, do not enter any sensitive data.
3) Red Triangle: This site is not secure and anything sent can be easily read.
Different browsers may show slightly different icons, but the gist is if it is not a Green Lock, it may not be a secure site and you should not send sensitive data over it. If you are in public, be even more cautious on what you log into and what information you send.
Any website that Design Extensions creates is secure. If you let us build your site, you can rest easy knowing that all your files are encrypted and safe. Whether you need a new website or you need any development, branding and marketing help, contact us today!