We should make URLs less important

The composition of a URL

Scope

For the purpose of this post, I am focusing on URLs ‘seen’ by a human interacting with a web browser — URLs that have been typed in, or those they can be seen in in the magic bar (clicking between websites or a link in an email client that opened in the browser).

Problem statement

TL;DR

If you think you can simply build technical solutions to fix URLs and their relationships with humans — you’re wrong.

Shots fired

Technologists love technology, so its our go-to response

I fall foul as this as well, and if you’re reading this you’re probably a technologist in some shape or form.

Training everyone is going to take awhile

Add-on solutions only work for a handful of people

So, can we just take the humans out of the picture and instead identify phishing sites with the technology? We can already and last month I wrote about how NordVPN’s CyberSec can block this sort of thing outright

So, how do we go about solving these old, super-hard problems?

Swim upstream

Where is the substance?! Sorry, we really do need the airy fairy stuff

The above may not be substantive enough to some people.

Is anyone working on this kind of stuff?

Yes, in isolation. Yes, on a per-country basis. No, across the world — just browser teams really (again, they do a great job with what they can influence).

What are you doing about it?

I spend most of my professional time as a consultant to various organisations. Some of them are tangentially responsible for new standards so I will be nudging them into action.

What can I do about it?

If you have a platform and/or relationships with regulators, legislators or vendors — have a conversation with them and see what their thinking is. Do this more than once.

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Joel Samuel

Joel Samuel

The thin blue line between technology and everything else. joelgsamuel.com