Connecting to websites using HTTPS is much more secure. But knowing which websites support it can be tricky, and it’s a hassle to use sometimes. If you use HTTPS Everywhere, you don’t have to worry about any of that while still reaping the security benefits.
What is HTTPS Everywhere?
HTTPS Everywhere is an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Firefox for Android. It will force your browser to connect with HTTPS when you visit certain websites that have HTTPS properly enabled. You don’t have to do anything. This add-on takes care of all the dirty work, so you can just install it and browse the web normally.
HTTPS Everywhere is made and maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Tor Project. The EFF is a non-profit activist organization that supports things like privacy rights and freedom of expression online. The Tor Project is behind Tor, which is an advanced, powerful privacy and anonymity tool.
What is HTTPS?
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP or http) is the most common way of transferring data on the internet. When you load a website, it’s loading through this protocol. HTTPS is the same thing, but with an added Secure component. Essentially, HTTPS makes it harder for someone to intercept or look at the things you send to a website. It also verifies that the site you’re on is the site you think you’re on. These features obviously come in handy for banking websites and similar services, but even regular browsing can always use a little more security.
How do I install HTTP Everywhere?
Installation is pretty simple. Go to the HTTPS Everywhere webpage and click on your browser’s link. Chrome and Opera users will be taken to their respective official add-on sites. Firefox users can install the add-on directly from their link. (The EFF prefers stricter security than Mozilla currently offers for updating add-ons, so HTTPS Everywhere isn’t available on Mozilla’s add-on site. Don’t worry, though, the EFF is a widely-trusted organization.)
Once you’ve installed HTTPS Everywhere, you’re done. You don’t have to fiddle with it at all. Congratulations, you’ve just further secured yourself online.
If you’re a more advanced user, you can toggle HTTPS rules on and off in the options, or even create custom rulesets for websites that aren’t covered by default. But that’s more than I can cover here.
Tip of the week: Don't keep your computer on the floor.