Cyber Security is easily becoming the new buzzword of 2010. Lately everyone has been concerned with making their networks more secure. Along with the growing trend to optimizing platform security Google’s Gmail service has made a default switch to the https encryption.
This annoucement comes just a few days after the Chinese censorship announcement. The switch is most likely related to the supposed hacking of email accounts of human rights activist located in china.
Gmail Engineering Director Sam Schillace said “Using https helps protect data from being snooped by third parties, such as in public wifi hotspots. We initially left the choice of using it up to you because there’s a downside: https can make your mail slower since encrypted data doesn’t travel across the web as quickly as unencrypted data. “Over the last few months, we’ve been researching the security/latency tradeoff and decided that turning https on for everyone was the right thing to do.”
The https encryption will keep mail safer between the consumers web browser and the google servers. This becomes extremely important as public wi-fi systems see increases in malicious use. Although this will not effect the user interface, the default switch to a secure platform indicates a greater need for safe practice to online usage.
The option of using https encryption became available in 2008 as an option within the GMail settings. Original hesitations towards making the shift permanent we due towards the speed of the website and some minor glitches that present itself with mobile users.