This post was originally published June 19, 2018.
Encrypting your internet traffic is critical for your privacy and security, as it protects your online activity against monitoring or tampering. Our industry-leading VPN encryption is one of the key ways that ExpressVPN protects your data and communications. Today, we’re bringing you an extra layer of protection: the ExpressVPN Chrome extension, now featuring HTTPS Everywhere.
Enabled by default, HTTPS Everywhere ensures that you are automatically directed to the safer HTTPS version of thousands of major websites, encrypting your connection with those sites and providing significantly more security than the standard HTTP. What’s more, it works whether or not you’re connected to the VPN.
[Already use ExpressVPN? Get the Chrome extension here.]
HTTPS Everywhere: Greater privacy and security
HTTPS Everywhere was developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a leading non-profit that defends digital privacy and free speech. ExpressVPN has long been a staunch supporter of EFF, and we’re proud to be able to bring the security and privacy benefits of its HTTPS Everywhere project to users of the ExpressVPN Chrome extension.
The new option can be toggled on or off in the settings menu of the extension. Whenever the feature is enabled, your browser will automatically connect to the secure HTTPS version of any site you visit that the HTTPS Everywhere rulesets cover.
HTTPS provides you with confidence that the traffic between you and the site you are visiting is encrypted, and that the site is really the one that you intended to connect to. You’ll be able to tell you’re connected via HTTPS, as Chrome will display a green padlock icon and “Secure” label to the left of the website’s address.
Unfortunately, many sites that do support HTTPS still default to HTTP, and links to HTTPS-enabled sites often direct you to the less secure HTTP version instead. In addition, even when an HTTP site redirects you to its HTTPS version and the green padlock is shown, you may still be vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. The HTTPS Everywhere feature in the ExpressVPN Chrome extension addresses those problems by ensuring that you are always directly connected to the HTTPS version whenever available.
ExpressVPN and HTTPS Everywhere: Better together
Connecting to a VPN in addition to using HTTPS enhances your privacy and security by channeling your traffic through a secure tunnel. This helps guarantee that your online activity is protected by encryption even if a site does not fully support HTTPS. It also prevents hackers or internet service providers from seeing what sites you’re visiting, which HTTPS alone does not conceal.