The likelihood of a Twitter user losing control of his or her account should soon decrease by quite a bit. Late yesterday, the company announced a new “Always use HTTPS” setting that’s designed to give everyone an obvious way of playing it safe.
A post on the Twitter Blog explained, “For some time, users have been able to use Twitter via HTTPS by going to https://twitter.com. We’ve made it simpler for users to do this by adding the option to always use HTTPS.”
Then the post instructed, “To turn on HTTPS, go to your settings and check the box next to ‘Always use HTTPS,’ which is at the bottom of the page. This will improve the security of your account and better protect your information if you’re using Twitter over an unsecured Internet connection, like a public WiFi network, where someone may be able to eavesdrop on your site activity.”
This was an important step for Twitter to take. About two weeks ago, Ashton Kutcher’s account was hacked while he attended a TED conference, and since he has over 6 million followers and TED conferences are themselves important, that alerted a lot of people to potential security problems.
Also, Facebook unveiled a similar security feature in late January, meaning Twitter arguably had to respond in kind so it wouldn’t look like the service was falling behind.
Now security-conscious Twitter users will be able to relax in the knowledge that their accounts are safer, anyway. And Twitter’s indicated that it intends to make HTTPS the default setting sometime in the future, protecting even people who are unaware of potential threats.