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Twitter to set all users to HTTPS by default

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Twitter has announced that all user sessions will be set to HTTPS by default.

The social networking site initially introduced an HTTPS option last March via a user setting, rather than via a specific website. By August 2011, Twitter began switching user sessions to HTTPS by default for some users.

In a blog post, Twitter said: “Last year, we added the option to always use HTTPS when accessing on the web. This setting makes your Twitter experience more secure by protecting your information, and it's especially helpful if you use Twitter over an unsecured internet connection like a public WiFi network.

“Now, HTTPS will be on by default for all users, whenever you sign in. If you prefer not to use it, you can turn it off on your Account Settings page. HTTPS is one of the best ways to keep your account safe and it will only get better as we continue to improve HTTPS support on our web and mobile clients.”

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “Twitter wins the award for grooviest website of the day, because of the great move they have announced which will help protect the privacy of millions of users.

“But what about the other big social networks? With Google Plus, things are simple. It has always had HTTPS turned on. Nice one. With Facebook, however, it's a different story. Although the social networking giant gave users the option to enable HTTPS/SSL a year ago, it is still disabled by default and, even when enabled, only claims it will be used ‘when possible'.”

Last month, Twitter acquired anti-malware firm Dasient, with the vendor saying it would bring its technology, tools and team to Twitter.

However, the HTTPS move could mean that Twitter will be blocked in Iran, as reported over the weekend that the Iranian government is blocking access to websites that use HTTPS, meaning that sites such as Google, Gmail, Yahoo! and online banking portals would be inaccessible.

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