Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make Facebook Safer

A helpful tidbit has been circulating the interwebs the past week or so. Facebook has finally made it possible for you to browse their page using an https connection, as opposed to an http connection. What's the difference? Thanks for asking. Your basic run of the mill web page sends information back and forth between your computer and it using what's called hypertext transfer protocol. That's what the "http://" at the beginning of a web address means. And while it's great for transmitting information, it's not really secure. Anyone who knows how can "listen in" on the information fairly easily.

https is secure http. Think of it as an encoded way of transferring that same information. Now, people can't listen in on you as easily.

Why do you care? Well, think for a minute about all the things that go through Facebook. If you're using just the regular http to log on, then someone could find your username and password fairly easily. Once they've got that, then they're into your facebook account, full of juicy tidbits like your name, address, phone number, other email accounts (Do you have the same password for those? They've got your email now, too. Do you use Google Docs? They've got that now.) Basically, it can be a nightmare.

Will it happen to you? Hopefully not. But wouldn't you want to do something simple to try and prevent it from happening at all? Head on over to Lifehacker to find out how to make the switch. I've done it. It took a minute. I encourage you to do it, too.

1 comment:

  1. There is an https extension for Firefox called HTTPS Everywhere that uses https instead of http whenever possible. I've been using it since last summer and I love it. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and a lot of other sights have always been https using this extention. Blogspot, I just noticed, is not https ready btw. You can download it from the Electronic Frontier Website (www.eff.org).