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    Next Web: Yahoo Mail users quietly given HTTPS security option following pressure from privacy advocates

    The Next Web reports on a long-overdue security change for Yahoo’s Web-based free e-mail system:

    It has been a very up and down week for Yahoo Mail in terms of security. The service was recently hacked via an XSS exploit, which Yahoo has since patched, and now we’re learning the company has also quietly rolled out an HTTPS option (finally).

    If you use Yahoo Mail, you should enable the feature now (unfortunately it’s not on by default). To do so, click the gear wheel in the upper right corner, select “Mail Options,” go to “Advanced Settings,” and click “Turn on SSL” […]

    For those who don’t know, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure communications protocol. Actually, it’s not technically a protocol in itself: it actually consists of the the SSL/TLS protocol with an HTTP layer on top.

    We say the feature has been added “quietly” because Yahoo hasn’t announced it via a press release nor a blog post. The first to cover the news was actually the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is naturally happy about the move.

    In fact, the EFF was one of the 26 organizations (along with the ACLU, Reporters Without Borders, and many others) that in November urged Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to add an HTTPS option for the sake of improving users’ privacy and security. You can read the full letter here to see what made Yahoo get its act together. […]

    Update at 1:10PM EST: Yahoo pointed us to two support links for more information. Here they are: What is SSL, and does Yahoo! Mail offer it? and How to enable or disable SSL.

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