Why Secure FTP

We've all used or heard this term before in the context of net browsing. Many private entities encourage and promote the use of secure FTP. But what exactly is a secure FTP and why use it. Why even care?

FTP means File Transfer Protocol.  When we surf the internet, we commonly use this term while accessing website links.

Our most common website address starts with 'http:\\www.abc-bank.com'. We prefix the web address with 'https' or more commonly use this convention 'https:\\www.abc-bank.com'.

When we access say, a particular website, all types of information whether it is an image or text or documents etc., that we see on the webpage is transferred using this mechanism called FTP. FTP transfers data from one source to another destination. We provide information (i.e. type or record) and also receive information with this technique. FTP provides this data transfer facility using this to and fro mechanism.

The problem is that only an FTP mechanism is not secure. It is fine to use only FTP if you are just browsing content online, or you want to read something which is available globally or rather things that does not include your own details.

But if you are performing an online transaction which includes your personal bank credentials, Login identification or passwords, Credit/Debit card details, card transactions, then a secure FTP becomes inevitable.

A secure FTP encrypts the data which is sent from the source. This data is then decrypted from the destination so as to allow the receiver to make sense of the data that you have provided. 

In the entire traversal of the data from one point to the other, the data is in an encrypted state. So even if this data gets in the hands of unwanted people they would need to first decrypt the data, else it will make no sense to them. And with complex encryption methods now in place, it becomes even more cumbersome for them to decrypt the data.

So if you are performing online transaction worth say thousands or millions or dollars and if you don't want an illegitimate person being party, then you must use a secure connection. Because this can always risk losing your private details being eavesdropped by third party sources or hackers.

In times like these where digital money gets deducted from your account without you having any knowledge or other people getting your private account details, it is highly essential to make use of preventive measures in important internet activities. 

Also while providing your Login id and passwords make sure the website has the address as 'https'. This can go a long way in at least minimizing the risks involved.

Nowadays websites have inbuilt functionality to provide a secure connection. You can also provide a secure browsing environment to your users by making available SFTP for your website.