We recently covered some of the biggest security risks a user might face when connecting to unmanaged Wi-Fi networks (most free ones), including various hacking attempts to capture user data.
One of the recommendations we made in that article was to make sure you’re using the secure browsing for your online services. We gave Google’s Gmail and Documents as examples. There is a setting that allows you to force SSL connections for all interactions. This is confirmed by seeing https:// at the beginning of every URL interaction with that service.
We originally stated that Facebook doesn’t yet offer this — but hold the presses! Facebook announced this week that they are adding secure browsing for all Facebook activities. It is slowly being rolled out to all users, so you may not have it yet.
We highly recommend enabling this option on your account, especially if you spend a lot of time Facebooking over public wireless networks.
Click on “Account” in upper right of your Facebook home page and select “Account Settings” from the pulldown menu. About two-thirds of the way down the next page, choose “change” next to the “Account Security” section. Check the box that says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible” in the “Secure Browsing (https)” section. Make sure you click on the SAVE button in that section before you leave, or the setting won’t stick.