In light of recent data collection scandals, Yahoo has been girding up its loins and strengthening the security of its services. Now the company is reporting what it has so far accomplished, which practically consists of applying HTTPS on almost all aspects of its Internet presence.
The recent focus on NSA activities has really put a dent on the operations of Internet giants such as Google and Yahoo. Late last year, it was revealed that the agency was secretely tapping into the cables of the two search companies and email providers, even those located outside the US. Naturally, it did not sit well with the companies as their businesses rely on an appearance of security and reliability.
Both companies have thus taken measures to strengthen its defenses against snooping and implementing more stringent encryption across the board. Now Yahoo is letting us now just how far it has gone.
The bulk of the work revolves around implementing HTTPS for its services. As of the end of March, data traveling between Yahoo data centers have been fully encrypted. All searches done within Yahoo and its properties now make use of HTTPS for encryption. Even emails sent between Yahoo Mail and other providers can use HTTPS as long as the other end supports the SMTPTLS protocol. Finally, Yahoo will be rolling out a fully encrypted version of its Messenger software in the coming months.
Of course, security is something that can never really be considered as done and part of the work requires the cooperation of other parties, including end users. Users are encouraged to ensure that they are using Yahoo's encrypted channels, or manually switch to them by simply using "https" instead of the usual "http" in their browsers when using Yahoo services.