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Steps Toward Online security

January 8, 2015 | By  

Summary

The Internet is receiving all kinds of help it needs and deserves from individuals and businesses, when it comes to its security. Though just the beginning, Web’s security is becoming more secure.

Recently at the Black Hat Computer Security Conference on August 7, 2014, Yahoo announced  that it will roll out HTTPS encryption capabilities for its Mail users in 2015.  The announcement came in a talk courtesy Alex Tamos, Yahoo’s  chief information security executive.

This move will allow Yahoo’s users to use an email encrypted program that sends mails via a kind of digital passage that hides the messages passing through it. This way the message will gibberish,  to anyone looking from outside.

Tech giant Google too announced that it will be adding a new functionality to the way it ranks websites.

Some security experts are calling this the “the Snowden effect” as Internet firms across the United States are scrambling to secure their Web traffic from the spying eyes of the government.

The depth and impact of that spying were revealed when Edward Snowden , former CIA System Admin,  leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents last year.

HTTPS

Earlier in June, Google made the same type of encryption available for its Gmail users.  Yahoo is working along with Google in order to make the two systems compatible.

Google will begin ranking websites  using HTTPS encrypted connections higher when compared those that do not.

This is quite easy to achieve as users will be able tell the difference by just looking at site’s address. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the original encrypted connection.

Adding a ‘S’ to the address marks the more secure version of the protocol, making it Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

So a Web address beginning with https:// gets a better ranking on Google than the address  that just begins with http://.

As of its standings today, HTTPS is only a very lightweight signal; just affects fewer than 1 percent of global queries, says Google. The company further added that this scenario will change with time, and will offer an incentive for  sites to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.

According to security expert Stephen Cobb, encryption is imperative for Internet security.  Internet’s  global nature has not only propelled socio-economic development to a new level but also enabled various risks.

The ability to encrypt information to higher standards, making it accessible only to the holders of the decryption key, has been floating around for a long time, Cobb further added.

The failure to use encryption is shocking and outrageous especially for corporates who know better about Internet and its security.

But some security experts opine that security for users could be much better.

According to Marc Rotenberg, security researcher at Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, the encryption Google uses is good for communications in transit. He also said he expected that Google would do the same with stored data.

For Internet’s smooth operation, shared responsibility between individuals and companies has been the main the pillar supporting its tremendous growth and success, security and resilience.

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