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Add Automatic Website Encryption to Firefox

Would you like to have websites automatically open encrypted and secure? Enable a set list of websites and the ability to create encryption rule sets of your own with the HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox.

Before

For our example we chose Twitter and the Duck Duck Go search page. Opening both in our browser showed the normal unencrypted “http” prefix…but having them automatically open as encrypted would be a lot nicer though.

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After

To add the extension to Firefox you will need to visit the EFF Deeplinks Blog (link below). Once there you can install the extension using either the large blue button or the link highlighted in the screenshot. You will also see a list of the websites that are currently supported by the extension.

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Just to test how quickly the extension would work (page refresh versus none) we left both websites open while installing the extension. Upon browser restart both were automatically encrypted. Very nice.

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Preferences & Writing Your Own Rules

Checking the preferences after installation will show that all websites currently supported are enabled by default. Disable any that you do not need as desired. One point of interest in the preferences is the link for learning how to create your own rule sets to add to the extension’s capability.

Note: Link for the rule creation website provided below for your convenience.

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Clicking on the link shown above will take you to the webpage where rule set creation is explained and examples are provided. Once you have created a rule set, save it as an xml file and place it in the HTTPSEverywhereUserRules subdirectory in Firefox’s Profile Folder. The EFF also has an e-mail address available where you can submit rule sets that you feel could be useful to others.

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Conclusion

The HTTPS Everywhere extension is definitely a step in the right direction for securing your web browsing. Hopefully this extension will inspire the addition of built-in auto encrypting in future releases of Firefox and other browsers.

Links

Download the HTTPS Everywhere extension (EFF Deeplinks Blog)

Learn how to write your own HTTPS Everywhere Rule Sets

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/15/10

Comments (6)

  1. david
  2. super

    You can also setup NoScript to force https connections to sites you specify.

  3. Joukai

    Thanks David. That was the first question I wanted to ask upon reading the article.

  4. Jeremy

    The one problem here is that by using it, when you go to Google, you’re unable to access image search since they remove the link to it. I suppose an easy fix is to bookmark google images…

  5. Jesse

    @Jeremy
    Or add the service’s name when typing the url: http://*.google.com
    Replace * with the search you want to perform, service names include:
    Images
    Video
    Mail
    Maps
    News
    etc.
    Note that these searches are not yet available for the ssl search beta.

  6. Tony

    This is great stuff, because this will replace using (slow) proxies for sites like Facebook, that are restricted in certain countries… I’ve tested it and it works great!!
    Thank you for the tip and the great article. :)

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