New tool looks to make browsing more secure
High assurance SSL certificates and other varieties of online security to help people browse and make secure transactions are necessary to be able to work online safely without leaking passwords and other personal information, but the Economist's Babbage blog said many web locations are not wired to make sure its pages correctly link to secure pages. For this reason, Firefox and Google Chrome browser users should look into HTTPS Everywhere, an extension of internet watchdog company Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"Its original release automatically directed users clicking through to a web page or typing in a web address to the secure versions of roughly 20 popular sites, including social networks and periodicals," according to the blog. "The latest iteration bumps that up to 1,400. It also adds additional features that help ensure a connection is legitimate and unobserved. The EFF says over 1 million browsers have the plug-in installed."
EFF said this project is a collaboration with The Tor Project to help make HTTPS easier to use online. The group said many websites still have a lot of content from third-party domains that are not available from HTTPS, but it is hoped that this extension will help protect on the bigger websites that use HTTPS.
When connecting to any website on Chrome or Firefox, the extension helps guide the user to a secure website where their information will be fully encrypted, according to the Economist. Peter Eckersley, EFF's technology projects director, said 25 million certificates had been submitted since the plug-in went into public testing. The plug-in also helps tell users when a website may not be fully secured.
People who have products such as x.509 SSL certificates or similar certificates from GeoTrust, yet still surf on browsers should help further secure themselves by installing this free plug-in.