Facebook starts default HTTPS rollout in the US

Facebook is about to roll out HTTPS by default to all North American users. I commented back in February about the lack of default HTTPS on Facebook – this was when Twitter enabled HTTPS be default for all users. As my readers were probably aware, Facebook did launch HTTPS as an ‘opt-in’ back in January 2011, did you ‘opt-in’? Probably not.

Facebook announced it was investigating rolling out HTTPS by default to users as far back as January 2011 – so no idea why it has taken this long to launch. So why should you consider using HTTPS? HTTPS allows users to automatically encrypt (hide) their communications with the social network – this also makes it more difficult (but not impossible) to listen / sniff your valuable data, for example using Wi-Fi hotspots. The launch of the HTTPS ‘opt-in’ option was in reaction to the Firesheep story.

How to setup HTTPS with Facebook – this post shows you how to ‘opt-in’ to using HTTPS by default. NOTE: For those in the US, you will not need to do this for obvious reasons.

Be aware that when using HTTPS, you will experience a slower service, but if you want security and privacy (and currently live outside of the US) and don’t want your Facebook account hacked, I’d suggest ‘opting in’ right now (see above). It might be some time, before the rest of the world has access to the default HTTPS feature.

Safe surfing folks!

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