Twitter Enables Option for HTTPS by Default
Following a trend in allowing users to automatically utilize the secure HTTPS protocol when accessing Web based services, Twitter announced this week that it has added the option for users to force HTTPS connections by default when accessing Twitter.com.
The ability to use HTTPS to access Twitter.Com isn’t new, as users have been able to use the social media service via HTTPS by going to https://twitter.com. The new option goes one step further and enables users to automatically make use of HTTPS, without having to remember manually add the "S" in their Web browser.
The reasons to utilize HTTPS when accessing any personal accounts aren't new, but an easy to use extension for FireFox called “FireSheep,” released in October 2010 spiked concern, as it enables HTTP session hijacking for the masses. Firesheep essentially enabled the average Joe to instantly hack into common services such as Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail and many more sites with ease, when users were logged in over an unsecured Wifi connection. The extension makes something that was already possible, but typically harder to do, incredibly easy. Gmail now users HTTPS by default, and Facebook as recently added the option to enable HTTPS by default. Twitter now joins the default HTTPS party.
Instructions from Twitter on How to Set HTTPS for Twitter.Com:
To turn on HTTPS, go to your settings and check the box next to “Always use HTTPS,” which is at the bottom of the page. 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.
Twitter notes that when accessing Twitter from a mobile browser, users need to go to https://mobile.twitter.com to use the secure protocol, but they plan to also set mobile access to use the HTTPS connections soon.