EXTRA CREDIT: ‘Let’s Encrypt’ makes HTTPS easier

Browser padlockEver since Edward Snowden brought the breadth and scope of governmental snooping on our online activities, there’s been a call across the internet for all websites to be secure their traffic through encrypted HTTPS connections. And now with HTTP/2.0, a much awaited update to the HTTP protocol which speeds up connections, specifies that all traffic should be encrypted with HTTPS, HTTPS everywhere is becoming more of a reality. But still, the barrier to entry has been high. SSL certificates, that make encryption trusted and possible, can cost anywhere from $20 to $300. But one group of programmers thinks that’s not good enough.

Josh Aas and Eric Rescorla, two employees of Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) decided to form their own non-profit organization called “Let’s Encrypt.” Their goal is to make the web secure at no cost to website owners, lowering the barrier to entry for secure traffic.

The Let’s Encrypt client is free, and easy to install. But if you’re not tech savvy, the good news is that major web hosting companies like DreamHost have already pledged support soon for setting up free SSL certificates with Let’s Encrypt through their control panel. Others have said they will add support in the coming months.

My sites are hosted with DreamHost, and I’m excited that I will soon be able to set up SSL certificates easily.

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