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Old 16. Jun 2012, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
emmjay
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Default https vs http for Google and Bing

Is there any significant security advantage to setting a search engine address to https versus http?

The reason I ask is that I noticed that you can set your home page (if it is a search engine) as either https or http. As an example, the default for Google and Bing is http, however both offer https.

On Bing, a popup appears when you try to set it to https that states that some functions may not work properly with https.

I reset both on my W7 system to https to see what differences there might be.

I accessed a few of my usual sites (none of them dodgy) and from what I could determine there was no loss of function. The only thing that did happen on Bing was that I could not download a file. I got the 'save to or cancel' option but nothing happened when I clicked on 'save to' , then the same for 'cancel'. The site I was trying to download from was this site.
NB: This is the first time I used Bing. It is not my browser of choice.

I also tried it on Firefox. I set google to https. There were no popups and I could download the same file from this website without any problems. I did not try it on Chrome.

Is it 'safer' to set these addresses to https or is this not for the average user?
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Old 17. Jun 2012, 11:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In answer to your first question...yes.

For further info: http://websearch.about.com/od/dailyw...qt/dnt0513.htm

Hope that explains things clearly re https!
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Old 17. Jun 2012, 11:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you use either FF, Chrome or Chromium then I can heartily recommend https everywhere: this is an add-on which is available from here: https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere
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Old 18. Jun 2012, 06:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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HTTPS is overall a safer way of surfing the net but personally I don't see much added benefit in using https when you're only doing search terms on google and bing. Just choose whichever you like more
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Old 18. Jun 2012, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tnx guys for your response.
I was not referring to 'https everywhere'. I have chosen not to take that route, however thank you for providing the link, it was an interesting read.
I came across SSL browsing in a blog so I was a little skeptical on its benefits. My research was producing nerdy descriptions on how SSL is implemented and I was getting lost in all the tech talk. Finally last night I found a google blurb on it on a google support page that was easier to understand. Since I opened this thread, here it is in a nutshell...

SSL Search

With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search results and, in most cases, your search terms from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.


Https is now the default on Google if you have an account with them. Seems this is the direction they are taking their users in. I'm sold. Going to change it in Chrome as well.
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