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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Security tip: Encrypt your social media interactions

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Here is a quick tip on increasing your security and privacy while surfing the Internet: Use HTTPS instead of HTTP

All sensitive data should utilize high-grade Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to ensure the security and integrity of your transmitted information. SSL is the preferred method of secure communication, and can be identified by the secure page being preceded by HTTPS:// in your web browser address bar. Many web browsers will also show the certificate owner in a blue or green box on the address bar.

Notice the HTTPS in the address bar

Most web browsers will display a padlock icon in the bottom right corner, which is shown as locked, whenever your communication is secure.

Notice the Locked Padlock

I also recommend that you always read and verify the security certificate information the first time you visit a web site, and be sure that this information matches the company that operates the web site. In most web browsers, the certificate owner will be in the green bar before the HTTPS and URL.

Twitter recently released a feature that allows you to use HTTPS by default. Just go to your profile settings and check the box.

Twitter URL showing HTTPS

The latest release of web browsers have a private browsing mode which blocks cookies and helps keep your data safe. There are several levels of protection, so adjust your browser settings according to the way you surf the web.

There is one drawback with encryption. It requires more bandwidth to transfer encrypted data and more processing power to encrypt / decrypt communications. If HTTPS is slowing you down, you can adjust your privacy settings to find a balance between privacy and function.

There is also TOR and many other security tools to keep your data safe. Some tools involve lots of configuration, so I'll save that complex discussion for another day...

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

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