HTTPS Everywhere makes Firefox for Android more secure

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's add-on forces websites to use HTTPS encryption whenever possible.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to make web browsing on mobile as secure as it is on the desktop--at least for Android users. The digital rights group recently released a mobile version of its stellar HTTPS Everywhere add-on for Firefox for Android.

Even though many sites offer HTTPS encryption, most offer it only on request, not by default. HTTPS Everywhere solves this problem by forcing websites to connect to a device using HTTPS encryption whenever possible. In a nutshell, using HTTPS Everywhere offers a more secure web browsing experience, deterring--among other things--snoops on a public Wi-Fi connection.

The add-on will only work if the site supports HTTPS connections to begin with and if the site is listed in the add-on's database. HTTPS Everywhere does cover thousands of sites, so chances are the major sites you visit every day will work with the EFF's add-on.

How to install HTTPS Everywhere for mobile Firefox

Here's how to get started with HTTPS Everywhere:

If you haven't already downloaded it, you can grab Firefox for Android from Google Play. Mozilla's browser works with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and up.

The EFF doesn't offer its add-on via Mozilla's add-on catalog, so you'll have to visit the EFF's HTTPS Everywhere page to install it.

The page should auto-detect that you're visiting from Firefox for Android. Tap the green robot to install HTTPS Everywhere.

This will cause Firefox to throw up a drop-down warning message that says, "Firefox prevented this site ( from asking you to install software on your device." Click the "Allow" button below the warning to install HTTPS Everywhere.

You'll see another pop-up asking you to confirm again by tapping "Install." Do so. Once the add-on is installed, Firefox will prompt you to restart the browser.

When the browser starts up again, visit a site like Twitter or Google and you should see the HTTPS Everywhere symbol on the right side of URL bar, and a lock symbol on the far left, as shown below.

That's it! You're now browsing somewhat more securely on your Android device. For added security, you could also use a VPN when browsing the web on a public Wi-Fi connection--although VPNs on mobile aren't always bullet proof.

HTTPS Everywhere is also available on the desktop for Firefox, Chrome (beta), and Opera (beta).

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Tags applicationsappssecuritysmartphonesAndroidbrowserssoftwareElectronic Frontier FoundationFirefoxconsumer electronicsGoogle

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