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November 21, 2012

Facebook Faces Slowdown in the Interest of Security

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Most people don't even like the thought of a slow Internet connection. They've either been there before and don't want to go back, or they've come to rely on super-fast speeds so deeply that downgrading is inconceivable.

Facebook (News - Alert), however, has taken something of a counter-intuitive step in slowing down its own pages, but for a reason most of us can appreciate: security.

Facebook, based on recent blog posts, is currently at work on moving all connections from the current HTTP connection type to HTTPS, a connection which is more secure than its predecessor, but has the unfortunate side effect of slowing down browsing speeds.

HTTPS connections are commonly used on Web shopping sites to denote the location where credit card information can be added, and is a good indicator that the site that's about to receive said information is doing its best to protect it.

Sometimes, a lock icon or the like appears on a browser screen along with the HTTPS, which further denotes the security in place around the connection, as even the "s" itself stands for "secure."

Facebook is now taking security matters into its own hands and making HTTPS the default for all its users, last numbered at just over a billion faces total. This in turn means that for those users who haven't already selected it as an option, it's now going to be selected for them.

However, the option exists to turn off that option and instead restore normal speeds. Doing so, however, will come at the cost of lowered security.

The exact amount of difference, especially for anyone with a decent connection – which is likely most of those billion-plus users – will wind up proving minimal, though noticeable. The tradeoff of better security is fairly easy for most users to get behind, and is downright necessary in the age in which we all live.

While there may not be so much risk involved in people's Facebook profiles getting hacked, depending on the level of information contained therein, it may still be a worthwhile measure to turn away at least some predatory types.

Still, the impact to users should be comparatively light – there's nothing for users to select unless they want to opt out of the added security – and the end result of better data protection will likely be well-received, especially by those who've been impacted by data theft on Facebook in the past.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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