One of the major advantages of remote work is that you can essentially work from anywhere that there is Wi-Fi or some other form of public access available; however, this leads to some security issues. For example, others may be able to view the work you are doing online because of the open and available nature of the network. One way to improve your security is to use secure websites.
HTTPS Everywhere is a Chrome, Firefox, and Opera extension that helps provide a safer web experience. HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure,” meaning sites are encrypted. HTTP, without the S, indicates that the information exchanged between the site and your web browser is not encrypted. Information that is not encrypted is more likely to be seen by other people or malicious devices.
In order to help improve overall web security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) created the HTTPS Everywhere project. According to the website, the EFF created a way to circumvent the limited support most sites offer for HTTPS. HTTPS Everywhere attempts to rewrite web requests to use HTTPS instead of regular HTTP.
Although the plugin doesn’t automatically force HTTPS for all sites, it does so with most of the popular ones, and you have the option to create rules for other sites to include support for them in HTTPS Everywhere.
Obviously, it would be best for all sites to default to using HTTPS for security and privacy reasons. Sadly, many don’t. But the good news is that the number of sites that do support HTTPS is growing, even if a site doesn’t support it by default.
To know if you are using HTTPS, look up in Chrome’s search field. There should a padlock symbol, and the beginning of your web address should be “https://”. Using another browser? You can see examples of how Firefox displays a secure web address here, how Opera displays a secure web address here, how Safari displays a secure web address here. Internet Explorer 9 notifies you within the window that secure content is displayed (older versions, like IE8, may not correctly support secure websites without changing settings, find out more here.)
Even when using HTTPS, as well as other security practices, there is still a chance that your data could be compromised. Security is hard, and new vulnerabilities are discovered every day. Even HTTPS is occasionally subject to vulnerabilities that could expose your data, although those vulnerabilities are usually repaired quickly. The best you can do is be as secure as possible, and generally speaking, HTTPS is much more secure than regular HTTP.
Image Credit: Kathleen W Curry