Twitter Offers "Always Use HTTPS" Security Feature

Thursday, March 17, 2011

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Twitter is now offering the option to use a secure, encrypted SSL connection. While users could previously access Twitter over an encrypted HTTPS connection, it was necessary to manually type the "https" into the browser.

The new feature allows users the option to "Always Use HTTPS" by accessing their account settings and enabling the feature, which is located near the bottom of the page.

Among other security benefits, the HTTPS feature will prevent users from having their login credentials stolen by Firesheep attackers.

Firesheep is a FireFox extension that can harvest login credentials when users access their accounts over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

"There are also a few instances where turning on HTTPS in your settings does not force HTTPS. For example, when accessing Twitter from your mobile browser, you need to go to https://mobile.twitter.com to use HTTPS for now. We are working on a solution that will share the 'Always use HTTPS' setting across twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com, so you don’t have to think about which device you’re using when you want to check Twitter," wrote Twitter's Carolyn Penner.

Facebook has also recently added the option to access accounts over a secure, encrypted HTTPS connection. If you have not enabled the option yet, you should take a minute to do so now.

To enable the the HTTPS feature, open the "Account Settings"on your account and go to "Account Security". Check under the "Secure Browsing" option for the HTTPS option.

Several people have reported problems with the setting reverting to HTTP on Facebook, so be sure to take note that the HTTPS appears in your browser when logged into your account.

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