Gmail HTTPs encryption now mandatory, Google rules

By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 21, 2014 08:17 AM EDT

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Google has removed the ability to opt out of encrypting your Gmail because it wants to make it more secure, the company announced.

HTTPs became the default for Gmail communications back in 2010, but at the time Google did not make it mandatory. Up until now, Google users had the ability to opt out of the encryption if they so preferred, especially since Google reckoned that it could make your email slower.

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Starting now, however, encrypting Gmail communications is no longer optional. HTTPs is not just a default setting anymore, it's now mandatory whether you want it or not. Google explains that it's all in the name of security, as encryption is designed to keep everything safe and private.

"Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email. Gmail has supported HTTPS since the day it launched, and in 2010 we made HTTPS the default. 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 explained in a blog post on Thursday, March 20.

"In addition, every single email message you send or receive - 100 percent of them - is encrypted while moving internally. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers - something we made a top priority after last summer's revelations."

Those "revelations" Google mentions refer to the high-profile Edward Snowden leaks, which put the whole world on edge regarding privacy issues. Google further boasted about Gmail's stability, claiming that the service is available 99.978 percent of the time. As the company points out, that percentage translates into less than two hours of disruption for a user in a whole year, which is quite an impressive achievement.

Gmail is used by numerous people worldwide and is considered one of the most reliable email services. Making HTTPs encryption mandatory aims to make the service even more secure and reliable.



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