Published: Sunday, Feb 1, 2009 Last modified: Friday, May 24, 2024

Maintain URL integrity (including HTTPS!!!)

Entering into a mobile Android browser should take you to a secure payment site. There you should be secured and stay secured.

What happens currently is that Paypal UA (Browser) sniffs the mobile UA and redirects you to an unsecured Attackers can exploit this by overriding UA strings so that Web sites use insecure connections.

When you do log in to Paypal, it does redirect you again to HTTPS, though this is confusing. Maintain the SSL protocol.

Mobile content transformation (ct) can break security

Content transformation proxies deployed on several mobile IP networks might rewrite a HTTPS link and hence lose security.

This is insane.

Maintain wildcard HTTPS certificates

Some sites like only have a valid certificate for

Hence a dangerous mess if someone goes to from any device, as SSL won’t work!

Title is redundant

UAs should show the full URL at the top of the page. So people know where they are and can use this information to switch between devices and guard against phishing attacks. The URL also can provide powerful input mechanisms. Example URLs are the corner stone of the Web, do not hide or obfuscate them!

http:// is redundant

URL links should not promote typing of http://.

It’s seven unnecessary characters which really harms the take up of the mobile Web.

UAs currently will take users to an unsecured http:// domain, especially if they bother to type in this redundant prefix.

UA should check for HTTPS site first, before redirecting to http://, though no UAs unfortunately do this currently.

If you need to point out a link in a billboard, I suggest underline the

www. prefix is redundant

Honestly! Purists can use CNAMES.

Typing these four extra characters harms the mobile Web! :(

Typing into the URL bar will redirect the user to NO!

Notice the HTTPS padlock takes up room

I suggest using colours like a gold or green bar like Firefox does already.

However the padlock is well supported and recognised. Probably just leave this one as it is.

Fix dot com

Far too many useful dotcom domains are squatted upon. This is ridiculous and greedy. We need a bigger namespace (with shorter URLs), however without promoting fragmentation, like the uncool device specific dotMobi TLD.

If the domain is not in use, it should be thrown back into the pool.

Domain names need to become much shorter, to make them usable on the mobileWeb.

Unicoded URLs with IRIs might ease the situation, but it’s still really really bad. Worryingly Unicode glyphs can confuse and allow for even more phishing attacks.

Search is a dangerous form of identity

One can argue the mess with domain names is largely solved by URL search. Submit “Paypal” in the search bar and Google will redirect you to “” (if you live in the UK).

Search is more usable than domain URLs, but people must be aware of the risks and clearly be shown the resulting URLs by UAs.

Google is essentially an identity broker.

Want to become the domain for when someone enters “Paypal” into the URL bar? Pay Google for it and it could likely be the case.

Silly TLD suggestion of my own

Have a TLD for every year. Effectively this is the site’s founding year.

Though I don’t think they should be necessarily backdated like the above examples.

.com should be mapped to .2009 and then next year, 2010, one could register google.2010. People should keep in mind when a company was formed or founded to know the correct identity of the domain. Through use, I don’t think it will that difficult to remember that Google’s domain is google.1998 as opposed to google.2020. Some fool could register google.2020 in Bangkok in the year 2020, though who cares?

If the google.2020 business is better at searching than the company behind google.1998, which shouldn’t we use google.2020? :P

Certificate fragmentation

Different devices. Different trusted roots. Complete nightmare.

What’s worse is that many devices like the Iphone and Android [[G1]] do not allow you to manage certificates. This could well be a super disaster.