Query strings and security

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Mibbit supports a large set of options for the Widget, most are allowed inside the URL. But it's commonly understood that passing sensitive information over query strings is never a good idea. Even using SSL (https://) the data in query strings is at risk at several points along the way from web browser to server.

So would it ever be a good idea to send a password data as a query string? It's a common question and our answer is always in the negative. There are several reasons for this;

  • password data would be stored in weblogs
  • data may be stored in browser histories
  • http:// referrer gets sent the referring URL, including the whole query string

So in short it's just not a great idea, it might be workable for some uses, but not for passwords.