What is TLS?
TLS provides a secure channel for internet communications. It encrypts traffic and provides a certain level of confidence that the party you are connected to is who they say they are. When a TLS connection is established your computer is sent a certificate from the server you are connected to. The certificate is digitally signed by a trusted third party which verifies the owner of the server.
How Can I Keep My Computer Safe?
- Most browsers use a 'pad lock ' symbol to indicate that you have a secure connection. This symbol may be in the address bar or in the status bar at the bottom of the browser window. Another way to identify a secure connection is in the URL, shown in the address bar. If the URL begins with "HTTPS:" instead of just "HTTP:" then your browser is connected over TLS.
- Whenever you need to exchange sensitive information online, you should be provided with a TLS connection. For example, when you log in to an online bank account, your bank should automatically switch you to a secure TLS connection. If you are making a purchase online, you should have a TLS connection during the checkout process.
- If you are not provided with a secure channel when communicating sensitive information online, you should not proceed. It may be a good idea to notify the owner of the site about the issue.