How Is A Web Browser Secure?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The internet is designed to be open to all who have access to a computer and an internet connection. In the early days of the World Wide Web, the information was sent over the set infrastructure of telephone lines using telephone fax/modems which sent digital file information at a set rate over the lines. Modem stands for Modulator/Demodulator, which is essentially what it did. It modulated the analog signal from the source into digital pulses and demodulated them back into analog signals at the receiving end.

These signals were available to all, and the World Wide Web was a wild and wooly place. In time, it became necessary to transfer sensitive or private information over these public lines and so the HTTPS protocol was developed to provide encryption and to limit access to these special files and private information being transferred. A secure website has an encoded signifier on it which comes in the form of a certificate. Essentially it is verified by a governing body by way of prebuilt software in the browser. The browser will verify that the secure site is what it claims to be, that all information is up to date and that the path to the site is secure. If any of these conditions are not met, the browser will warn the user of any non compliance issues. These certificates may also limit access as to which users may view the site. Unauthorized users, usually verified by a password will not be able to decrypt the information or view or interact with the website. Password verification is accomplished through use of a Secure Socket Layer, which sets the level of encryption on a particular website.

This use of SSL and certificates make web browsers a secure and difficult to penetrate piece of software. uses a 256 bit encryption system which makes any kind of forced software attacks time consuming and nearly impossible to complete.

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