Twitter's website security received a boost on Monday after the firm announced that it will use encryption by default when they sign into the micro-blogging website.
Last year, Twitter introduced the option to sign in via the HTTPS protocol, which ensures that log-on data is encrypted. Now Twitter is making HTTPS the default setting for users – although those that wish to can turn it off in their account settings.
“HTTPS is one of the best ways to keep your account safe,” Twitter wrote in a blog post explaining the move.
“It’s especially helpful if you use Twitter over an unsecured internet connection like a public Wi-Fi network.”
Users who log on to Twitter over unsecured public Wi-Fi risked having hackers use tools such as Firesheep to gain unauthorised access to their accounts, said Graham Cluley, a security researcher for Sophos.
“If you log into Twitter over unencrypted Wi-Fi - for instance, at an airport lounge or at a conference - and you don't have HTTPS enabled, then a hacker could sniff your session cookie. And anyone who can sniff your session cookie can pretend to be you,” he said in a blog post.
Twitter had originally stated its intention to use HTTPS by default last August.
Facebook users currently have the option to sign in via HTTPS but it has not yet made it the default method, while Google+ uses HTTPS as standard.
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