Citing the need to protect users from government cyber spying, Google has tightened Gmail’s encryption screws by removing the option to turn off HTTPS. Google first gave people the option of encrypting their Gmail sessions via the HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) communications protocol in 2008. Google turned it on by default in 2010 for all users, but allowed them to turn it off manually. Not anymore.
Encryption is the word of the week. Google has made a new pledge to its users worldwide in an effort to reassure them that the Internet giant has their security and privacy concerns at the top of the agenda. Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTP Secure (HTTPS) connection when users check or send emails. This latest security feature for the popular email service follows up a similar move in 2010 when Google made HTTPS the default connection option. Nicolas Lidzborski, who leads the Gmail security engineering team, explained in a blog post on Thursday that this move means “no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers—no matter if you’re using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.”