Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Access, a digital freedom activist group, have partnered together to start "HTTPS Now," a campaign to spread awareness and advocate for increased Internet security.The
HTTPS -- Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure -- HTTPS is built on HTTP and integrates the Secure Sockets Layer/Transfer Layer Security protocol to ensure data encryption over a secure channel. It provides 128- to 256-bit encryption, which means that it is virtually unhackable.
"We've heard a lot about how malicious tools like Firesheep can be used to steal data, including passwords for email and social networking accounts," said EFF activist Eva Galperin in a press release. "HTTPS Now is aimed at protecting users from attacks like these by spreading the word about HTTPS and how to use it correctly. HTTPS provides the minimum level of security for websites. Without it, no site can make any meaningful security or privacy guarantees to its users."
The EFF has worked with Internet browser companies to help HTTPS become more ubiquitous. It has partnered with the Tor Project on "HTTPS Everywhere," a security tool for the Firefox browser that encrypts a users' browsing and changes it from HTTP to HTTPS whenever possible.
The HTTPS movement is gaining more traction lately with a series of high-profile hacks forcing the hands of websites and social networks. Facebook issued an "HTTPS always-on" option after CEO Mark Zuckerberg's account was broken into and Twitter recently created an option to always use HTTPS when using Twitter.com shortly after uber-user Ashton Kutcher's account was hacked.
"We want to make it easier for web users to get the security they need and deserve, but we can't do it alone. We need an accurate picture of the state of HTTPS on the Internet. After that, we can target website operators and make it easy for them to update their sites," said Jochai Ben-Avie of Access. "Working together, we can all be safer from identity theft, security threats, viruses, and other things that come from an insecure Internet."