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Question: Some websites I visit use "HTTPS" instead of "HTTP." What does that mean?

The IT Guy says:
HTTP stands for "HyperText Transfer Protocol," and it's the standard system for transmitting web pages on the Internet. When companies started developing Internet-based businesses, however, a slight variation of the system was created. It is called "HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer", or HTTPS for short. The difference is that this system encrypts the data as it is being sent, so that it is unreadable if someone intercepts the information. This is very important when it comes to things like credit card information, or personal data such as student records.

This is also why you will sometimes see a message that tells you something like "you are leaving a secure page and any data you send will not be private", or words to that effect. You will see this warning when you leave an HTTPS page and follow a link to a normal HTTP page. It's not really something to worry about, and there is usually an option to turn off the message.

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