Google has confirmed that it is extended the use of secure browsing technology to cover all of its international websites, which will ensure that users of its search tools can do so without fear of being snooped on.
The search giant started using secure socket layer (SSL) encryption on its Google.com page back in October 2011.
Google is now ready to extend this protection to uses of international sites, such as Google.co.uk, Michael Safyan, a software engineer at the company wrote on its Inside Search blog.
“The change encrypts your search queries and our search results page, which is particularly important when you’re using an open, unsecured internet connection,” he wrote.
Safyan added that Google hoped to encourage other firms to follow its lead.
The importance of using SSL encryption for logging on to websites or uses search engines was highlighted by security researchers that developed the infamous Firesheep extension for the Firefox web browser.
Firesheep enabled users to snoop on nearby users who were accessing the internet over an unsecured Wi-Fi network – such as those commonly found in coffee shops – and steal log on credentials.
Firesheep has been used to successfully pilfer Twitter and Facebook logons as well as access users' Google history.
Both Twitter and Facebook switched to using HTTP over SSL (HTTPS) by default several months ago.
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