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Expanding secure HTTPS browsing on FCC.gov

by: Benjamin Balter, New Media Fellow

May 9, 2011

We know that protecting personal information online is important for all web users. We’re keeping up with best practices across the web and offering FCC.gov visitors the option to browse the site entirely using the more secure HTTPS protocol.

Browsing with HTTPS is particularly valuable when you access FCC.gov over an unsecured WiFi connection, such as the one often found in a coffee shop or airport. This expands our previously-offered HTTPS default on pages where business and industry practitioners submit online transactions with the FCC.

HTTPS is a significantly more secure version of HTTP, the protocol typically used to load web pages. HTTPS encrypts all the traffic between the website and your browser, making it harder for others to intercept (and potentially modify) the pages you visit and the information you submit. HTTPS provides three guarantees:

  1. Authentication: HTTPS ensures that website you are visiting, is, in fact, who they say they are
  2. Confidentiality: HTTPS ensures that eavesdroppers cannot understand the data transmitted to and from the server
  3. Integrity: HTTPS ensures that a third party has not altered the information you receive.

Many commercial sites offer an entirely-HTTPS experience; the FCC is proud to be lead government innovation as one of the first agencies to offer the more secure option on every page. Our team plans to continue offering secure browsing to additional systems in the upcoming months.

Please feel free to begin browsing FCC.gov securely by simply replacing “http://” in the url with “https://”, and let us know what you think.

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