Twitter adds option to always use HTTPS connection

By simplifying the use of secure, encrypted connections, Twitter hopes to reduce the number of hacked user accounts

With the rising awareness and concern over the stealing of passwords and other sensitive data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks, Twitter is the latest online services company to boost its use of encrypted website connections.

Twitter announced on Wednesday that it will give its users the option to always automatically connect to Twitter.com using HTTPS, which encrypts communications between users' computers and Twitter servers.

HTTPS reduces the chances that malicious hackers will intercept and steal their passwords and any other sensitive data exchanged with the website they're browsing.

Previously, Twitter users could connect to the site in this way, but they had to manually type in HTTPS in the URL bar.

"This will improve the security of your account and better protect your information if you're using Twitter over an unsecured Internet connection, like a public WiFi network, where someone may be able to eavesdrop on your site activity," reads Twitter's blog post announcement.

While HTTPS has been standard for years in financial services websites, providers of consumer online services have over the past year started promoting its use to cut down on the number of times their users' accounts get hacked, including Facebook and Google.

There is generally a performance trade-off when using HTTPS, because it slows down the connection somewhat, but the consensus is that the slight inconvenience is well worth the increased protection.

Some websites, like Twitter, let their users configure their account settings so that every time they visit the site they automatically do it via HTTPS.

Others have made HTTPS the default setting for everybody -- something Twitter plans to do later -- while others have gone further and eliminated altogether the option to connect to their sites using a regular, unencrypted HTTP connection.

Twitter already uses HTTPS as a default on its log-in page so that users' credentials are encrypted. Its official iPhone and iPad applications also have HTTPS as their default setting.

However, the setting to always use HTTPS currently doesn't extend to Twitter's mobile website, so users must remember to type HTTPS when logging into it.

People who use third-party applications to access Twitter need to check if those applications can use HTTPS or not.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation made a free Firefox plug-in that, whenever possible, chooses an HTTPS connection for every website users visit.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecurityAccess control and authenticationencryptiontwittersocial mediainternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?