Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted in order to increase security of data transfer. Encryption prevents websites from having their information broadcast in a way that’s easily viewed by a hacker. In fact, all communications that occur over HTTP occur in plain text, making them highly accessible to hacking.

In modern web browsers like Chrome, websites that don’t use HTTPS are marked “Not Secure” and secure sites display a padlock icon in the website title bar.

There is a third indicator for websites when HTTPS has not been installed correctly. Instead of the padlock icon, a circled “i” is shown which indicates mixed (secure and not secure) content. In this case clicking on the circle “I” will deliver this message “Your connection to this website is not fully secure.” Unfortunately, many website owners have not been alerted to this and the negative effect that it may have on website visitors.