Having a secure connection is important when browsing the Internet. Everyone wants to keep their personal information private when using websites. Internet Service Providers and other people may have the ability to spy on you and get information from your browsing activity.
This is why more and more websites are switching to a secure connection. This then shows a green padlock on the browsers address bar and the website address should start with “https://” instead of “http://”.
The information sent between your browser and the website is encrypted which means that others can’t see it. This includes the text content of the page and any information you might provide on the website when you fill in a form.
To demonstrate this we used packet analysing software on a dummy website we created to show the data that can be captured.
It’s a crude test but it shows that the effect of the padlock on the website is.
The first thing we’ll look at is the normal content of a page. The most popular simple website used in tutorials is example.com which is available over both insecure and a secure connection.
If we search for the words “More information” we can easily see this in the data packet sent from the website.
As you can see, we found the text. This text could be available to anyone who is sharing your network or spying on your connection This would be similar if it where a list of email addresses on the page or the content of an email sent with customer information on it.
With a secure connection, you can see that the page content has been encrypted and can’t be read.
So what about information that visitors provide on a form on the website? This information would be sent over the same way as other information on the website. That means it could be insecure if you’re not using a secure connection on the website. In fact, if we were to check these data packets you would not be able to tell what is form data, the page name or regular content. It would all be the same.
As well as protecting your website you should also make sure that your emails are sent/received securely, especially if they contain any personal data. Having a secure connection to your email system is just as important as your website.
You may think you don’t need such protection and that Internet spying only happens on a large scale or to high-profile people, but in fact when you’re in a cafe, hotel, workplace or even in your own home, it’s still possible for someone to monitor your data as shown in this experiment. Using secure web connection is an easy way to increase your privacy and protect your peace of mind.
We can offer you help and advice on making your website and email systems secure if needed. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help you.