In a welcome move for the security- and privacy-minded, ExpressVPN announced today that it was throwing its weight behind HTTPS Everywhere, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s encrypted web-browsing initiative.
It comes just weeks before an expected change in Chrome that will prominently mark all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.”
The VPN provider has incorporated HTTPS Everywhere into its Chrome browser extension, ensuring that all users are automatically connected to the more secure HTTPS-enabled versions of thousands of major websites.
ExpressVPN claims that it is the first VPN company to have done so.
Traffic between users and an HTTPS-enabled site is fully encrypted, unlike with standard HTTP. The encryption adds a layer of security, protecting sensitive data and financial information like credit card numbers.
A VPN already protects users’ online activity by sending it through an encrypted tunnel; indeed, concealing such information from hackers and other prying eyes is among a VPN’s primary selling points.
A second line of defence
But ExpressVPN says its HTTPS Everywhere feature will work even when users are not actively connected to their VPN. And while the function will be enabled by default, users will have the option to toggle it off if desired.
“Online privacy and security has never been more important, and strong encryption is critical. Together, HTTPS Everywhere and ExpressVPN provide users with greater confidence that their internet activity and personal data are encrypted and protected,” said Harold Li, vice president of ExpressVPN. “As long-standing supporters of EFF and their fight for digital rights, we’re proud to be able to bring the benefits of its HTTPS Everywhere project to our users.”
Although HTTPS is widely gaining ground, many of the websites adopting it still contain outdated pages and old links that send users back to ordinary HTTP addresses. HTTPS Everywhere ensures that the browser connects only to the more secure HTTPS version, whenever one exists.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has made strides toward a more-secure internet experience with its HTTPS Everywhere project, which now extends to a broad and growing range of websites. We’re glad to see ExpressVPN lending its support to that effort.