Monday, September 24, 2007

How to Secure Gmail: Switch to HTTPS

Incidents of Big Brotherish behavior seem to be present here in the Philippines where some individuals resort to wiretapping, illegal monitoring and unlawful interception.

To those not in the know, Internet browsing using plain HTTP is transmitted in the clear allowing snooping and wiretapping to be performed. Switching to HTTPS by enabling SSL encryption will eliminate the risk.

This is a quick guide to avoid other people from snooping your gmail inbox since by default, Gmail only encrypts the account login and not the contents during transmission allowing miscreants to read email in transit.

Simply follow the procedure to deter snooping by miscreants:

Requirements: Firefox browser with Customize Google add-on

1. Download and install Firefox browser
2. Fire up Firefox browser after installation
3. Visit Customize Google add-on page and click the Install Now link to download and install the add-on. You'll be required to restart Firefox
4. After restart, click Tools to display the dropdown menu and select the CustomizeGoogle Options.
5. Select Gmail on the list then click Secure(switch to https) checkbox. You may also select the remove ads and related pages

Note this will only provide encryption from your PC to Gmail's mail server. It will not protect the path between Gmail servers up to the recipient's PC unless the recipient is also using secure Gmail or any SSL-enabled emails.

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