Twitter has announced the ability to use HTTPS when accessing the micro-blogging service via a web browser. A new option on Twitter’s Account settings page lets you turn on this feature.
HTTPS is a secure protocol that sends encrypted data from your web browser to a web site. This is what is used when you send a credit card, for example, or when you log in to certain web sites. When HTTPS is used, you see that the URL of the web page begins with https://, and you see a padlock in your browser window.
Twitter’s addition of HTTPS only protects your password when you log into Twitter, and is designed mostly so sniffers can’t discover that password when you’re on a public wifi network. It’s worth noting that, while Twitter say that HTTPS has been added to the company’s official iPhone and iPad apps, a number of third-party Twitter clients already offer this option.
Nevertheless, if you access Twitter via its web interface, and do so often in public locations, you should turn this setting on. There’s no down-side to it – your access in not slowed down in any way.