Much has been said, especially on Facebook and Twitter about "security" and the "need" to invoke 'secure browsing' lest one gets *hacked".
Recent events have made me take a closer look at these rumours and what I find is basically no different to every other internet scam that has been invented to try to weasle money from people on false pretences and using scare tactics.
In order to put this whole thing into context, there is something that needs to be made very clear from the outset and that is:
NOTHING on a computer that is connected to the internet is SECURE.
This is precisely the reason WHY hackers can do what they do in the first place. And if you think that whilst a good hacker can get into ANY site on the planet, do you really think that your $99 copy of Norton Security or enabling "secure browsing" is going to stop that ?
If you do, then you are making a BIG mistake.
Many people are under the impression that because they have installed some "security program" or other type of protection that that they are "safe".
ALL THIS IS COMPLETE RUBBISH
EVERYTHING that is put out on the internet is accessible.
If you are scared about certain information being seen by somebody then DON'T PUT IT ON A COMPUTER (at least one that has an internet connection.)
What I have found is that this whole https protocol is basically a scare tactic. Various sites will try to convince you that going to normal http sites is dangerous because "your data may be intercepted and/or altered".
Whilst this, in itself, is not a lie, it is extremely misleading.
What it implies is also not only misleading, but a lie as well.
Secure browsing simply encrypts your data for transmission to its destination. But that is only one TINY area! It makes no difference whatsover to what happens AFTER the data gets to the site.
Also, if a hacker REALLY wanted to, he could simply DEcrpyt the data stream and still get to the information you are trying to conceal.
If you own or run a server of any kind, you will know that you can go into your database and get any information you want - email addresses, passwords, names, dates, security or card numbers, age, address - basically ANYTHING that the user has given out.
In the 30 years I have been on the net - and that is virtually EVERY day - I have only ever been "hacked" TWICE - and both times, it was only one of my sites with some spammers posting rubbish links - but MY data has never been touched.
I have used my ATM card on the net hundreds, if not over a thousand times, and never had a problem.
So when a friend of mine skyped me and said he couldn't get into my site because "it wasn't secure", I was MOST surprised.
After investigating the matter, I found out he was trying to look at one of my apps on Facebook and that Facebook showed him this message:
Now, having already spent good money on making my server as secure as possible for users, I was quite perplexed (and a little *pissed off*!) by this, so that gave me reason to investigate this whole thing more deeply.
Basically, the story goes that to avoid this message form coming up, one has to purchase an "SSL certificate" - so I made the usual enquiries to find out how much this would cost. The quotes I got back were all within the range of $65 per year to $199 per year.
On top of that, each one is only valid for 1 (one!) domain.
I have 18 domains, so to make them all "secure" would cost between $1170 and $3582 PER YEAR! - that, on TOP of the already existing hosting charges and doman renewal fees.
Considering I don't make any money from any of these sites, this is absolutely ridiculous!
Also, in view of the dubious value of these "security certificates", I see it as no more than a con to get people to spend money for things that are not really needed.
I can see now how the whole thing works.
Get people scared about hackers, then when they refuse to visit certain sites, those site owners are forced to buy these certificates...
Again, everyone, this is no more and no less than yet another scare tactic.
Another bit of evidence is that even GOOGLE itself has not fallen for this and when you go to http://google.com, you will see that IT is NOT a "secure" site (and neither is this one (Ning).
Surely that should be enough evidence there is something fishy going on here!
Another little "frill" is that normally, this warning message allows you to bypass it and go to the site anyway, but if you receive it on Facebook, it won't even let you do that!
The "Get me outa here!" button has been designed to scare people unecessarily.
So, in summary, if you have secure browsing enabled and are avoiding certain sites because of this message, you are falling into this artificial fear-based mentality that they want to create.
My advice is to switch it off and not support this corrupt campaign.
And please share this message far and wide - it is time we put a stop to these profiteering so-and so's.
More information on this hoax is here: