Referrer-Policy HTTP header

A setting that will allow certain information to be shared with the website where the internet user is going

Website security is a really important aspect of any online business. There are a lot of parts on the website which can get hacked, and this allows hackers to obtain sensitive website information. Whenever a person clicks on a link on your website to go on another page, some information is shared with the browser and the next page where the user is heading. We are going to need an HTTP referrer policy to protect our information.

What is HTTP referrer policy

HTTP referrer-policy is a setting that will allow certain information to be shared with the website where the internet user is going. It is adjusted using the header settings of the web page. It can also be adjusted with other webpage programming options, but mainly header is used to adjust it.

HTTP referrer policy by header settings

There are two ways by which a person can adjust the HTTP referral policy. A professional coder can do it by changing the header settings using the coding language. It can also be done by using a special plugin inside the content management system. Most of the content management systems have applications that will allow you to adjust the header settings as it can affect the website security.

Common referrer settings

The first option is to set no referrer policy in the header. This means that no policy is going to be affecting the information sent to the user browser. In the second option, one can set the referrer policy in the header settings to send only the origin website and not the full URL. We can say if a person is going to the other website from the shop page, the origin domain information will only be sent rather than the full URL. We can adjust the setting to focus on the specific transfer protocol. We can adjust it as we want to send full URL information to the website with HTTPS protocol and origin information to sites with HTTP protocol. In other settings, there is also an option to send full information between the website's internal links and restrict the information when any external link is clicked on the website. This can largely affect the site's security because any sensitive information sent to an external link can be used as a source of entering the website back-end by the hacker.

How the referrer setting affect website security

We have to adjust the settings for certain websites that are suspicious. There is one option for the website referrer-policy where we can improve the security by restricting the information of the URL shared. At some places, we have to share the information like in the affiliate website programs, the website to which we are sending the traffic need the full details of the URL from which we are sending traffic. Other websites, especially which are not upgraded to HTTPS, should not get all the URL referrer information. Adjusting this setting accordingly can help you and users of your website improve security while using the internet.

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