SiliconFilter

Tweet Safer: Twitter Makes HTTPS the Default for All Users

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The title really says it all. Last year, Twitter started giving its users the option to use HTTPS to keep their connections safe over unsecured Internet connections. Today, the company announced that it is now making secure SSL connections the default for all users.

HTTPS ensures that the traffic between the server and your browser is encrypted and can't easily be intercepted over unencrypted wireless networks, for example. This is essentially the same protocol you use when you access your online bank accounts, for example.

With this move, Twitter is following in the footsteps of other companies like Google, which made HTTPS the default for all Gmail users in January 2010 and for all signed-in Google Search users in late 2011. Facebook, too, users HTTPS whenever a password is sent to the service, but users have to manually activate secure connections for all of their other activity on the service.

In addition to adding these secure connections to Twitter.com, the company also announced that it plans to improve HTTPS support on its web and mobile clients in the future.



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HTTPS: Google Wants to Make Search Safer

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Google just announced that it will soon redirect all of its users who are signed in to their Google Accounts to https://www.google.com. Over the last few months and years, Google has slowly moved towards making more of its services, including Gmail, available through the secure and encrypted SSL protocol. In mid-2010, Google also made https://encrypted.google.com available for users who wanted to ensure that their search sessions would stay private while they were on public WiFi networks, for example.

Now, Google is moving toward making the secure version of its search site the default for all of those users who are signed in to their Google Accounts. This change will, according to Google, go into effect “over the next few weeks.”

Even if you are not signed in, though, you can now go to https://www.google.com and start searching from there as well. Another useful tool in this context is HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox, which forces the use of a secure SLL connection whenever possible.

Good for Consumers, Potential Issue for Online Publishers

While this is a great move for consumers and should definitely be applauded, many online publishers won’t be too happy with this news. By using SLL, they will lose the ability to see which keywords their visitors used to find their pages. As Google notes, webmasters will now have to go to the Google Webmaster tools to get this aggregate data, but analytics tools like Google Analytics won’t be able show this information anymore.



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