Facebook has upgraded its link security infrastructure to include HSTS preloading, which automatically switches HTTP links to HTTPS for eligible websites. The change is intended to improve security and navigation speed for Facebook and Instagram links, according to the social media firm.
HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a feature for websites to request a browser-only access to them over HTTPS. Preloading lets websites tell browsers to always perform this upgrade ahead of time. Many browsers support HSTS but many people still use browsers that don't. This ensures connections are secure when people click supported links from Facebook or Instagram.
Facebook determines which links are eligible for HTTPS based on two sources. One is the Chromium preload list, which is used in most major browsers and is regularly updated. The other is recording HSTS headers from sites shared on Facebook. The browser preload list is updated with any sites that serve HSTS with the preload directive.
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