I’ve written previously about the caution we all need to take when we’re using wifi hotspots.  The good news is that we can get connectivity in airports, cafes and hotels — the bad news is that hackers and scammers know how to intercept our communications in these areas. Too many people have learned the hard way that their accounts have been captured.  They get emails from friends asking if they’re really stranded someplace and need money; or they learn that their financial information has been stolen.

So here’s some good news since the holiday travel season starts this week.  Facebook announced that it is “…starting to roll out HTTPs for all North America users and will be soon rolling out to the rest of the world.” (November 14th, Facebook Developers Blog).  This news was announced as well by Graham Cluley for NakedSecurity Sophos, which had sent Facebook a letter asking that it make “https” its default setting (see Graham Cluley, “Facebook finally enables HTTPs by default ….”, Nov. 19, 2012, nakedsecurity.sophos.com).

Why is this such good news?  Because Facebook is now giving users the ability to automatically encrypt their communications with Facebook. As Mr. Cluley writes, that automatic encryption will go far in “…preventing hackers and attackers from sniffing your sensitive data while using unencrypted wifi hotspots.”

This is most welcome for those of you who will be on Facebook while spending time over the next few weeks in airports, train stations and other places while on holiday travel.