It is a no brainer that using the Internet is getting to be a risky option for all of us. If it is not credit card fraud it is code that is created by our own US agencies that either contains known security flaws when it is released or new security holes that are found after a release. In addition, the stop of support for Windows XP will also add to all this risk. Ironically, Microsoft is still supporting XP in some foreign countries, just not here in the United States. That means that a Microsoft team somewhere is actually still processing patches.
The latest security threat called Heartbleed is the latest major security flaw to demonstrate that the right individual or group can almost certainly compromise any activity online. The SSL that was supposed to protect our online credit card transactions has been broken for at least 2 years and nobody decided to let anybody know. The only person that knew about it was the one who coded the software in the first place. This put almost all of us at risk. The only good news is that the crooks did not know about the flaw until a security expert from Google announced it. The fast response by many of the affected companies helped keep the Internet from becoming a hacker’s dream world.
Now, many experts are thinking that the entire web should be layered in SSL. While this all sounds good on paper, it is important to note that SSL is slower to process then a regular webpage. In addition, many websites have no need for this type of protocol since they do not share any user information or passwords. If this were implemented all throughout the web, opening fast loading web pages would be a thing of the past.
Matt Cutts, who leads the security team at Google, is one who would like to see this implemented. It has been rumored that he would like to see sites that are layered in SSL have reign over non-SSL sites in the searches. If this were to happen, major sites throughout the US would be converting to this format whether they needed to or not. With all the changes that Google has made in its algorithm, the searches have been more and more iffy and have led many to other options such as Bing. From a personal standpoint, Bing is now my favored search engine and is set as my default.
In addition to speed, there is the additional cost of obtaining an SSL certificate. For small websites that do not make any money, this would certainly be an added expense that simply is not needed.
Besides the cost, we have already seen that SSL can be hacked. Once this hole is fixed, there are most likely other security flaws that have not yet been uncovered. I think SSL should remain the way it is now with only sites that requires it to use it. If it is utilized with all websites, hackers will work even harder to find ways to get through it. The sad part is that will succeed.
It just might be time to start doing things the old fashioned way with good old US mail and using cash instead of credit cards at your local retailer. In fact, this is even more incentive to visit your local store instead of using your credit card online. Amazon is now going to start collecting sales tax so using them will no longer offer you the sales tax savings advantage. It is time to start supporting your local retailers and simply pay with cash or check, just like the old days. This will help keep hackers at bay and will also keep your city from sporting empty strip malls.
Article Posted By, Ross Deprey