How to: Switch on the new secure HTTPS connection to Facebook

Facebook today announced that users can access their site using secure HTTPS traffic. In the past only certain portions of Facebook allowed HTTPS access, with the connection quickly reverting to HTTP when it ran into problems. HTTPS allows data to be encrypted in both directions, both from the server and from your computer. The biggest benefit this gives is that data cannot be “sniffed” – for example someone intercepting your wireless signal will be unable to make sense of any of the transferring data.
If you want to enable this its pretty easy. You can go to https://www.facebook.com instead of http://www.facebook.com, but this method is not ideal, because you have to double check your browser everytime to see if it is using the correct method (but you can set a direct bookmark of course). What I would rather recommend is the following – go to Facebook, then go to Account Settings, then just tick the “Secure Browsing (https)” box, as shown below:

At the moment Facebook is still rolling this feature out to people, so if it is not available to you yet, just be patient. In the mean time you can still just by using the “https” prefix in the URL. If you do access Facebook using the new secure method, you will see the padlock on the bottom right of your browser (in Safari its on the top right). Another bit of news: Facebook also rolled out its own unique “captcha” type system. Most captcha systems use those irritating blurry, skewed text so that they can verify you are a human. Facebook uses something different – it will show you friend’s photos, then ask you to name them:

Good luck to those people who keep on adding Facebook friends they have actually forgotten in real life, or even worse, never met!