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Bing search traffic to be encrypted by default, roll out begins this summer
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Bing search traffic to be encrypted by default, roll out begins this summer

by AshwinJune 17, 2015

cros is beefing up user security, and will begin redirecting Bing search traffic to be encrypted by default.

Microsoft-Bing-HTTPS

Online Security has become extremely important over the years.

In this digital age of smartphones, and other high tech gadgets, people rely on the internet for everything, from personal communication to banking and shopping needs.

While it is a good practice to always use a fully patched operating system, that alone is not enough to stay safe on the web. That is why users are advised to use a quality antivirus and a modern browser for increased security.

But, online safety is not something that solely depends on the user end. Websites which they visit, also play an important factor here.

Microsoft is taking it one step further. The Redmond company’s search engine will use encryption by default. So, whenever someone searches for something on http://www.bing.com., the search results will be delivered through https://www.bing.com.

HTTP Secure is a massive security upgrade over regular HTTP. The latter is very vulnerable, as it offers all content as plain text, meaning that attackers can easily steal user data. HTTPS encrypts all data, and prevents anyone from snooping in. It also ensures that websites are genuine and authenticates certificates accordingly.

HTTPS is generally considered to be slightly slower than HTTP, but it is negligible considering the security it offers.

Microsoft recently rolled out HSTS support for Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 7, 8.1 last week as well as in Microsoft Edge. HSTS forces websites to always use HTTPS and never use HTTP.

Microsoft Bing has already had HTTPS support for over a year and a half, but it was not enabled by default.Now that it will be the default option, it will provide some much needed security. But there is also a downside, not for user, but for webmasters.

Bing will not disclose the exact search query used to reach a website. It will merely show that the traffic comes from Bing, and will only provide a limited query term. This is to ensure the privacy of the users. Microsoft says that analytical tools can still be used to analyze a website’s search traffic. Webmasters can refer to the official announcement at Microsoft’s website for more information.

Google has been offering HTTPS as a default option since 2011, but as the old saying goes, “Better late than never”. Microsoft Bing will enable HTTPS by default, starting this summer. The company has announced an exact roll out date yet.

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