Major websites like Twitter, Google, and Facebook have begun implementing security measures to protect both their and users’ data. When surfing the ‘Net, rather than the “http” that most of us are accustomed to seeing precede our favorite web addresses, “https” denotes an extra layer of security. But what exactly does HTTPS do? O’Reilly Answers helps us understand what that extra consonant means for everyday Web users. Take a look at the picture below, then get a better understanding by reading O’Reilly’s explanation. Using HTTPS adds an extra layer of protection so that third parties cannot intercept – or even view – what information a web user may be transmitting to or through a website. That could be anything from an email login and password to a credit card number. While consumers may not be transmitting sensitive data through Twitter, Google, and Facebook; O’Reilly says these web interfaces help ensure that users are actually “talking to who they think they are.” The practice of using HTTPS is becoming less of a trend and more of a common practice amongst the larger volume websites – even government agencies are taking to it. And that makes sense, right? One would expect the CIA to have a secured website. However, we should note that O’Reilly mentions that HTTPS is not fool-proof.

Federal agencies like the CIA and NSA may consider pairing HTTPS with managed hosting in order to add to the safety net. By having servers dedicated to one website, the agency lessens the risks of their information being shared with any unauthorized users. Blackboard offers managed hosting services for this very reason – security and data storage are paramount. Partnering with our clients, Blackboard provides a better educational experience for students through best-in-class cloud based services, infrastructure, and expertise. Learn more about Blackboard Managed Hosting and how it might be the solution for your organization by downloading and reading this PDF.

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