Google has announced always-on HTTPS for Gmail to protect users’ email from snooping when they check, read and send email.
“Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email”, announced Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail Security Engineering Lead in a blog post. “Today’s change means that 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.”
Google also announced that all the emails that traverse its servers will be encrypted – meaning that emails will be protected not only while they are in the open web, but they will also be protected even while in transit between Google’s data centres.
Google didn’t refer to activities of any specific agency as the motivation for bringing about this change, but it did note that the always-on HTTPS has been a top priority for Mountain View “after last summer’s revelations”.
The search engine giant also took the opportunity to reveal Gmail availability figures for 2013. All in all Google claims Gmail to have been available for 99.978 percent of the time – less than two hours of disruption per user per year.
“Our commitment to the security and reliability of your email is absolute, and we’re constantly working on ways to improve”, added Lidzborski.