Tips & Tricks: #HTTPS Everywhere

I just checked…I haven’t done one of these since late October, last year.  A general hat tip goes out to many of my colleagues who, through social media, reminded me about EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere, which is an extension for Firefox and, as of this posting date, currently in beta for Chrome.  Here’s their own description of the product:

“HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.”

So, why didn’t I simply Tweet that?  Well, actually, I did.  However, there are a couple of things you might want to consider before installing it.  As with all products, that’s usually the easy part.  Will you read the installation notes or the FAQs?  Probably not.  At least keep these two things in mind:

  1. Some users experience degraded performance.  I’m using Firefox and I’m seeing markedly degraded performance.  However, the benefits outweight the detriments, so that’s not a showstopper for me.
  2. Occasionally, the product will add an ‘s’ to ‘http’ addresses on the command line.  To most, this is meaningless; until they start sharing/embedding those links, that is.  Sometimes, this will cause errors at the other end, unless that user’s system also has the extension or ‘understands‘ what’s happened, as my IE9 browser did.  Luckily, this is rare.