ABC: Always Be Connecting, Securely, With Gmail
With apologies to Alec Baldwin and his epic dialogue in Glengarry Glen Ross, Google promises to always be covering connections to Gmail with encryption, or not, at a user’s discretion.
Google continued its public display of affection for privacy and user security with a little update to Gmail. Privacy has been a hot topic for the search advertising company ever since it picked up display ad network DoubleClick, and the massive volume of personal browsing data contained within it.
Every so often Google likes to remind everyone that yes, they really worry as much or more about privacy than you do. They really need go no farther than pointing out the very public fight they conducted with the Bush Administration in Gonzales v Google, when the Justice Department came calling for scads of search data; Google refused, something competing search engines large and small did not do for their customers.
Gmail is Google’s latest topic of privacy adoration, though the change today really just reinforces something always provided with the service. Anyone who wished to use a secure connection to Gmail only needed to type in https:// in front of the Gmail domain in the address bar and click, instant secure traffic.
The clever engineers at Google seized upon the obvious next step, by enabling full-time https connections every time one goes to Gmail. They added an option to Gmail’s settings to always use https for the service.
Logging in to Gmail has always been a secure connection, but once inside the inbox the connection changes to regular http. Speed serves as the consideration here; encryption is not as fast as passing unencrypted traffic.
By enabling the setting within the Gmail account, the user will always have a full https connection no matter which computer he or she may be using at a given time. That should make using PCs at places with open wireless access or public computers a safer prospect.