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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Mozilla's HTTPS Everywhere: Your Browsing Secured

Eureka Bharali
Monday, July 5, 2010
Eureka Bharali
The popular browser, Mozilla is trying its hands on secured cyberzone. It was the recent extension of the HTTPS Everywhere that allows a secure connection to be established by default on many popular websites. This added extension could be an inspiration from the recent Google’s initiation of the HTTPS based URL (https://google.com). And users who will use the URL, Google promises to protect their search terms. So, your search results pages cannot be intercepted by a third party on your network.

However, Mozilla took it to the next level. On many of the sites an HTTPS connection is not the default or is only used during login and then the rest of the session is unencrypted, but the HTTPS Everywhere application makes all the session secured, not merely the login. The add-on application is the teamwork of Electronic Frontier Foundation and the TOR anonymous router. Currently it encrypts connection to Facebook, Wikipedia, other Google Services and news sites.

This free add-on also comes with its limitations. While experimenting it’s seen that sites like Wikipedia and so on are partially encrypted while the media part is not encrypted at all. So, it means that the page you are on can be identified though automate tracking will not be possible. Also an analyst, Jim Rapoza points out that when HTTPS Everywhere is used on some sites it tends to block or prevent access to commonly used features. For example, while using Facebook with HTTPS Everywhere, the integrated chat feature in Facebook was automatically disabled. As a result, either one has to turn off HTTPS Everywhere or disable Facebook as an option in the extension’s options window. However, considering it began only a few days back, the app will try to eliminate its issues, as the more and more users turn towards it.

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