Jul 31, 2008

Keep your surfing secure

This is a tiny but important tip: When you go to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail or any other personal web-based service, you can make your connection less hackable by changing the "http://" to "https://". The "s" stands for "secure," and it means that traffic — the 0s and 1s — between your browser and the online service will be encrypted.

"Using an https: URL indicates that HTTP is to be used, but with a different default TCP port (443) and an additional encryption/authentication layer between the HTTP and TCP. This system was designed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide authenticationand encrypted communication and is widely used on theWorld Wide Web for security-sensitive communication such as payment transactions and corporate logons."

Getting in this habit is especially important for laptop and mobile users. It's easy to store the https:// in your bookmark. When you use a secure link, you'll see a little lock icon in one corner of your browser window.

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