Twitter announced security improvements to its website, allowing use of the HTTPS protocol to log into the online service.
The more secure method was already implemented on parts of Twitter.com, but the social network says it will now allow anyone to always use HTTPS after logging in, too.
The additional security setting should come in handy when using Twitter over an unsecured Internet connection, such a public WiFi networks in cafes, libraries or bars, where hackers can easily eavesdrop on your online activity.
To enable the secure login method, you just have to go to your account settings on Twitter.com and a checkbox to always use HTTPS is at the bottom of the page. HTTPS is the ordinary HTTP Web access protocol exchanged over an SSL encrypted session.
Twitter says that in the future it hopes to make HTTPS the default setting, but so far it’s used automatically when you log in to Twitter (to protect your password), as well as in the official Twitter apps for Apple iPhones and iPads. HTTPS is not used by default, though, when accessing the service via a mobile browser (but you can easily circumvent that by visiting https://mobile.twitter.com).
“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,” Twitter’s Carolyn Penner wrote on the company’s official blog.
Penner also advises if you use a third-party Twitter application (like Twitterific, Tweetdeck, etc.) to check to see whether that app offers HTTPS.
Google activated HTTPS for all Gmail users by default in 2010, and Hotmail from Microsoft received the same treatment a few months later.
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