Sunday, 13 April 2014

HTTPS Everywhere - great simple browser extension to keep data safe

Over the weekend at Linux Fest North West I attended a great talk given by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Internet security. It touched on a few themes but the one I found of most benefit was a free extension called HTTPS Everywhere that they developed.

The premise is that you likely go to a web site direct from a search engine and just click on the link that appears. You may not be aware there is an https version of that web site. The extension will automatically redirect you to the HTTPS version of the site, even though you clicked on the HTTP link.

One example given in the talk was Wikipedia who have a HTTPS version of the site. Why would you want to use a secure version of a site that hosts public accessible inforemation? The reason is you would like to protect your privacy e.g. looking up symptons for a disease or party political related information.

With the browser extension for Firefox or Chrome installed when you open an HTTP link that the extension lists in its DB, it automatically redirects to the HTTPS site.

I have been using it for a week now and its great. You can download it here for Firefox and its also in the Chrome store. There is an extensive FAQ that gives more detailed information if you are interested.

You can now enjoy a more secure web web browsing experience :)

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