Friday, March 2, 2012

The Return of HTTPS

To review HTTPS is a secure connection between the computer or device you are on and to the server you want to connect to. Historically, this was reserved for financial transactions, but in today's world one should expect an HTTPS connection for any site dealing with personal information.  

Most Google services are encrypted or HTTPS for a very important reason. Not so long ago some data was encrypted and other data wasn't. Google found out governments were bypassing freedom of information requests on the non HTTPS sites. That is why a little over a year ago Google went straight HTTPS.

So what is one is not on Google, how can you be assured you are on the HTTPS site. As the  saying goes there is an extension for that. Both Firefox and Chrome now have the HTTPS Everywhere Extension.

If a site does NOT have an HTTPS connection the extension will not magically give you one, but if there is one available it will automatically direct  you to it. For example, I have found all my Google searches now go to the encrypted site now.

So, if you would like to automatically go to the encrypted HTTPS version of a site,  I would give the extensions a try. If you notice a favorite site does not have HTTPS, let them know you expect this as a user of their site. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all have HTTPS versions which the extensions will automatically direct you to.