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Twitter Improves Security For Users

I make no secret of my love of Twitter.  Perhaps, you enjoy it as well.  However, one issue that has plagued the super tweet machine is that it does not operate in “HTTPS” mode.

What Is HTTPS?  How Is It Different From HTTP?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.  Whenever you log on to any website, if you look at the website’s URL, you will see that it either begins with http:// or https://.  Both refer to the type/level of encryption that communications are given across web servers.  However, HTTPS is a more secure connection that is given to online financial transactions or other sensitive data.  While more common, HTTP is less secure.

Twitter Goes HTTPS

Historically, Twitter has operated only in HTTP mode.  Critics have alleged that this lack of security allows hackers to hijack – actually, the term used is “sidejack” – a Twitter user’s account and then impersonate them in tweets.  In fact, Firefox users could avail themselves of a notorious add-on known as Firesheep that accomplished this “sidejacking” with relative ease.

This cyber bad behavior was achieved by taking advantage of unsecure WiFi connections and the way Twitter utilizes cookies, technicalities I won’t go into here.  If you are interested in further details, you can read more here.  Now, with the “Always HTTPS” option, these security weaknesses can no longer be exploited.

Take Advantage Of “Always HTTPS

If you are a Twitter user, do yourself a favor and make use of the “Always HTTPS” option.  Here’s how:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account;
  2. Go to the Settings page
  3. At the bottom, you will see the Always HTTP option
  4. Turn it on and then make sure to save your changes

Thanks to my source, Daniel K, over at Amplify for announcing this new Twitter development there.

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