How can I get a secure connection to Gmail?
This is a pretty basic question, but is there some way that I can actually get to Google's Gmail service via SSL and be able to connect with and use Gmail on open wifi networks without worrying about others tapping into and sniffing my information?
There is, actually, and it's undocumented as far as I know, but don't worry, it's really easy to do.
The first thing to notice is that the Gmail sign in URL is secure. It starts with "https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin".
Log in, however, and your default page will be unsecure, starting with "http://mail.google.com/mail/?auth=":
To switch to a secure connection, click in your address bar (where your browser shows you the URL of the page you're viewing) and manually add the 's' to turn http into https. It'll look like this:
That's all there is to it. Just press Return or Enter and you're back on the secure connection, and you'll find that all subsequent pages you view in Gmail should be secure too.
To make it permanent, bookmark your secure Gmail inbox view page and use that to get to Gmail each time, rather than just typing in "mail.google.com".
Easy, eh? :-)
To learn more about wireless Internet security, by the way, you might want to check out Connect Safely, an extensive ebook on wifi security and privacy that I co-authored and highly recommend.
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