Web-spying technologies like FaceNiff, Firesheep and Newstweek are out there showing the world just how easy it is to see what you’re doing online, but they’re amateurish in comparison to what real hackers could do to you if they catch you browsing unsecured websites.
Luckily, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Tor Project have just launched an official 1.0 version of their HTTPS Everywhere extension for the Firefox web browser, which forces encrypted connections to more than 1,000 websites that support the option.
HTTPS encryption makes sure that your online activities are protected from eavesdropping, and helps keep your accounts from getting hijacked by encrypting both requests from your browser to websites and the resulting displayed webpages. But a lot of times, you don’t even know you have the option to browse securely, or it’s confusing and difficult to use. HTTPS Everywhere helps you out by automatically encrypting the connections, making it easier to keep your user names, passwords and browsing histories secure and private.
“HTTPS Everywhere 1.0 encrypts connections to Google Image Search, Flickr, Netflix, Apple, and news sites like NPR and the Economist, as well as dozens of banks. HTTPS Everywhere also includes support for Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Wikipedia, the New York Times, and hundreds of other popular websites.”
Right now, HTTPS Everywhere is only available for Firefox, but they are interested in developing it for other browsers like Chrome, once the option arises. Until then, Chrome users can use KB SSL Enforcer to protect their web browsing, though it’s not as reliable as HTTPS Everywhere would be.
You can download HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox here.