How does Internet security work?

Internet browsers and Web servers have a secure way of talking to each other called http secure, or https. It works by combining “certificates” and encryption, a communications technique that scrambles the information as it crosses the Internet. Certificates are a type of digital security document used to prove the online identity of websites and application providers, as well as individuals and businesses. The very powerful and flexible https encryption, called SSL/TSL, overlays http, the basic standard underpinning all Internet communications.

You can tell when you have a secure connection by looking at the browser bar address window. Instead of “…” you will see “…” as pictured below. The “s” is for secure. You will also see the padlock. Click on the padlock to confirm the name on the site’s certificate is the same company you trust. Newer browsers color code the address bar green for safe sites with active encryption or red for potentially dangerous ones.

Other aspects of Internet security are protecting your passwords, not using hotspots to sign into your accounts and avoiding phishing or malware attacks from hackers and identity thieves.

For more information, see also

What are the most common mistakes people make that jeopardize their online digital safety?

What is a certificate?

If the Internet is secure, why are there Internet security problems?

Why is it safer to have a personal security device to access online services? IS TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION?