Most Zimbabwean government websites are not encrypted meaning that users are advised not to enter their username and passwords. This is because they do not use https, they are all http.
HTTP means HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.
For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page. The other main standard that controls how the World Wide Web works is HTML, which covers how Web pages are formatted and displayed.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms. So some websites here in Zimbabwe and South Africa they do not have https, they only have http which makes them vulnerable to attacks.
Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that a HTTPS connection is in effect.
You click to check out at an online merchant. Suddenly your browser address bar says HTTPS instead of HTTP. What’s going on? Is your credit card information safe?
Good news. Your information is safe. The website you are working with has made sure that no one can steal your information.
Instead of HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), this website uses HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a “code” between them, and then they scramble the messages using that “code” so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.
They use the “code” on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), sometimes called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to send the information back and forth. So if you visit any website and you have seen that the website has http not https, please do not enter any credit card information and passwords.