Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have always been used to resolve online addresses on the web and various browsers. Though they seem to be simple and easy to type and get to the desired sites, it also becomes a bit risky when hackers or cybercriminals try to exploit it to create phishing sites. These phishing sites look innocent and legit but are in fact malicious. The bad actors are able to easily exploit the URL by using long domain names which are too long to be displayed on a mobile browser and other times they manipulate as seen in the above picture, in fact, they are able to carry out more attacks using unlawful techniques.
The developers at Google want to tackle this issue and come up with something new. Though it is too early for us to tell what it would be.
As far as the browsers are the concerned number of steps are already in place to tackle the issue related manipulation of URL to launch cyber attacks. Recently Chrome has implemented the “Not Secure” labels, this helps to hide the protocol name ie HTTP or HTTPS and replaces it with a jargon that everyone can understand. Apart from this many browsers now use colours to highlight the actual domain name is coloured black and the rest of the domain name is coloured grey. Apple, on the other hand, suppresses the entire URL except for the domain name in its Safari browser. The whole text is revealed only when you click the address bar. Microsoft’s Edge browser does not support URL with embedded usernames and passwords, as more malicious URLs were being used than legitimate ones.
Though the URLs pose a security risk, they also are structured a bit strangely. Where we read the domain name(www.technoidhub.com) from left to right and later it comes with category ie maybe according to year or month ie 2018/09 or a product category ie gadgets or smartphones. This is later followed by the Slug, which looks something like this “google-wants-to-get-rid-of-urls-but-not-sure-what-to-use-instead” this indicates a specific article.
Google has been trying to work out a solution similar to Safari, where the URL presentation is called “origin chip”. These efforts were later abandoned as complaints were raised and also posed security concerns for themselves.
The road to achieving this task is not easy and Google knows it. URL is used widely all over the internet and to suddenly replace them would be a daunting task. Given the situation, the engineers at Chrome are trying to understand how URLs work in various contexts before making any new recommendations.
Generally, URLs are keyed in by users, while at other times they are embedded in hyperlinks. URLs are used widely for sharing contents etc., they are either shown in a more elaborate manner or at times shortened. Whatever may be the case at least for now we need to continue using the browser features to try and make them a little easier and safe to use.
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