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Changing Hotmail and GMail to require HTTPS

With the growth of utilities like FireSheep, people can view login information on unencrypted network connections.  Stealing login information opens the door to identity theft and using compromised accounts for SPAM and Denial of Service (DOS) attacks

We have recommended that if you use Hotmail or GMail or any other mail service that you set it to use a secure HTTPS connection that will encrypt your communications with that site.  It has come to my attention that some people are having difficulty finding out where you go in Hotmail and GMail to set this setting.  This post will hopefully clarify what you need to do to get there.

Hotmail:

After logging into Hotmail, you will see a headline near the top of the page that says: “Hotmail highlights“.  In the small print under that is a link called “Options“.  This will take you to a page called “Windows Live Options” and you will find on the left of that page a selection under “Show options for” that says “Hotmail“.  Click on the “Hotmail” link.  This will take you to a page called “Hotmail Options“. Look for the section entitled “Managing your account” and click on the link called “Account details (password, aliases, time zone“. You will be redirected to a page called “Account overview“.  At the bottom of that page click on the link called “Connect with HTTPS” that will redirect you to a page of the same name.  On this last page, look for a radio button towards the bottom in front of a statement that says “Use HTTPS automatically“. Kind of a long journey but that’s it.

GMail:

If you want to do this for a GMail account, it’s a lot shorter journey to get to where you need to be.  Starting from your GMail account, click on the arrow next to your account name on the top right side of your web browse and select the “Account settings” option. This will take you to a general “Google accounts” page.  Find the link called “Settings” next to the GMail icon on the right hand side of the page. Clicking on that link will result in you being taken to a page called “GMail – Settings” with lots of options. One of the options is called “Browser connection“. Make sure the radio button in front of “Always use https” is the option that is selected.  Finally at the bottom of that page, make sure you click on the “Save Changes” button.

That’s it, hope this was helpful.

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Comments

  • Rajnish said on March 20th, 2012 #

    WoW! Really Good Explanation, I was not even knowing that Gmail has started using https:// (I basically don’t know what it is). But as you said it make email account more secure I am going to apply it today.

    Thanks a lot.

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