Inspired by the Web search option of Google, EFF, which stands for Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with the project they called the TOR, which actually decided to release last Thursday a new public beta version of an add-on of Firefox. This add-on can allow the browser’s users to encrypt information and other communications data with famous websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The new add-on is called HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) Everywhere, which works by coming up with an HTTPS connection to several websites. However, it was emphasized in the release that although HTTPS is being used, unless the address bar is colored and an unbroken lock icon is displayed in the bottom right corner, the page cannot be considered as completely encrypted.
With the said add-on, it isn’t however guaranteed that IP addresses can be hidden and that the users aren’t potentially exposed to tracking from failed SSL sessions which can allow the display of unencrypted third party sites’ contents. But the thought that our often used websites can be encrypted is a big relief already, right?
For some who aren’t familiar with the word encryption, this is actually a technical term which connotes the process of transforming information to make it unreadable to other people or parties except for those who hold a password or key. The result of such process is known as encrypted information or encrypted data depending on the type of file that underwent the process. Through encryption, data at rest, such as computer files that are important but not use; in transit, such as data being transferred to other networks; and even private messages can be protected.
Long before the dawn of the World Wide Web, the military has already been using this process to cover certain communication data for security purposes. At present, several institutions, both government and civilian also use the said process in order to protect files and classified data. In addition, encryption can also be beneficial for the transfer of files to protect data between sources and receivers. Should security measures fail, it can still be assured that encrypted files are left untouched and unread.
Now that the encryption of websites is possible in the Mozilla Firefox browser, technology has proven once again that it continues to evolve and that it never fails to surprise its avid users. As we all know, while the World Wide Web expands each day, internet related crimes also grow in number which include hacking. However, with encryption, users are now becoming more confident that security is well provided and not taken for granted.
In addition to Twitter and Facebook, HTTPS Everywhere also works with:
- Google Search,
- The New York Times,
- Tor, and
- The Washington Post.
Hopefully, in the months to come, more sites will be added as this add-on continues to work. Furthermore, humps with regards to other security issues shall be polished so as Firefox users can be 100% secure of the browser. It is also safe to say that soon, other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Google Chrome among others will surely adapt to this new innovation not just for marketing purposes but for the greater benefit of their users.