We all know that you should never enter your credit card details online unless the webpage you’re on is secure. This knowledge has been drilled into our heads constantly by security people over the past decade or so. Even my Grandma knows it. Before she gives her credit card number to Amazon.com or Ebay or wherever she goes to buy
ugly thoughtful Christmas sweaters, she checks to make sure there is a little lock icon and the letters “https” at the start of her address bar.
But your credit card data isn’t the only information you want to keep secure online, right? At least for me it isn’t. We expose all kinds of information about ourselves online every day, and we often don’t even realize we’re doing it.
“HTTPS Everywhere” is a browser extension available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome designed to make your web browsing more secure. It does this by enabling SSL (Secure Socket Layer) on any website that it can. SSL is the encryption technology used to secure internet traffic like shopping site and online banking. HTTPS Everywhere enables SSL for any website it knows how to enable secure connections on, which is currently almost 3000 websites including the websites for major airlines, universities and social media websites.
The HTTPS Everywhere website explains:
HTTPS Everywhere is produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by using a clever technology to rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.
Once installed, the only indication that HTTPS Everywhere is installed is a small icon in your browser. Clicking the browser icon allows changing settings for HTTPS Everywhere, including enabling or disabling certain websites from being securely redirecting, or disabling HTTPS Everywhere altogether.
HTTPS Everywhere works behind the scenes redirecting unsecured connections to secured versions without needing any user interaction. If you value your privacy online, you would be wise to consider using HTTPS Everywhere.
HTTPS Everywhere can be freely downloaded from the EFF website here: https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere