Nov. 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM ET
You should consider HTTPS — which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, though you don't even really need to know that — one of your best friends. You should knot it a friendship bracelet, send it a holiday card, and thank it for keeping you safe on the big bad World Wide Web. Even Facebook realizes this and has decided to use it to protect every user's account.
As TechCrunch's Josh Constine points out, Facebook has begun transitioning its user base to HTTPS. This means that you will soon use a more secure version of the social network by default (rather than needing to toggle a setting manually).
Facebook's security policy manager Fred Wolens told Constine that moving to HTTPS may "slow down connections only slightly" as encrypted pages take longer to load, but adds that Facebook has "deployed significant performance enhancements to [its] load balancing infrastructure to mitigate most of the impact." Several other major services, such as Twitter and Gmail, have moved to using HTTPS already, which should be a fairly blatant sign that Facebook's on the right track.
As in the past, we continue to strongly recommend using HTTPS whenever it is available as it can keep your data safer when you're using an unsecured Internet connection — like a public WiFi network — where someone may be able to eavesdrop on browsing activity. Should you, for whatever reason, really be against using HTTPS, you'll be able to opt-out of doing so in your account settings.
But I'll repeat it again: You really should use HTTPS unless you have an extremely good reason to do otherwise (such as reliance on third-party apps which don't support HTTPS).
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