Gmail Security Engineering Lead Nicolas Lidzborski just wrote in a blog post, “Your email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to us.” Lidzborski continues:
“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.”
For those of us that don’t speak Internet, this just means that you are now getting the same kind of protection you get when you perform financial transactions online.
This update comes as a reaction to last summers revelation that the NSA had hacked into their company servers and collected millions of records each day. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was not happy to learn the news:
“I was shocked that the NSA would do this—perhaps a violation of law, but certainly a violation of mission,” Schmidt said to CNN, “This is clearly an overstep.”
He adds, “From a Google perspective, any internal use of Google services is unauthorized and almost certainly illegal.”
Clearly Google is taking this seriously by upping their security measures. Other than moving to an encrypted HTTPS connection, Google will also be protecting each and every mail you send and receive through Gmail:
“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.”
Now before you get too excited and start emailing bomb-making strategies, this step will make it harder for the NSA but it certainly isn’t NSA-proof. This will also help deter non-government hackers.
Just to be clear though, this protection is only for Gmail to Gmail messages, so if you’re emailing people on Hotmail or Yahoo (or any other mail providers), your email will not be encrypted. But you’ve got nothing to worry about because who uses Hotmail anyway right?