Yahoo recently announced that it will be making efforts to encrypt company and user data by the end of Q1 2014.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, discussed the issue on the company’s Tumblr. In a Nov. 18 post titled “Our Commitment to Protecting Your Information,” she said her company has worked hard to gain its users’ trust and that the addition of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption will help continue to protect its users’ privacy.
“There is nothing more important to us than protecting our users’ privacy,” she said, “To that end, we recently announced that we will make Yahoo Mail even more secure by introducing https (SSL – Secure Sockets Layer) encryption with a 2048-bit key across our network by January 8, 2014.”
Mayer said there are several levels to the efforts that Yahoo will be putting forward. First, it will encrypt the data that moves between its own servers. This type of data can potentially include information germane to the company itself or information about Yahoo users that is transferred from one company server to another.
Second, it will provide users with the option to encrypt their own data when it’s being transferred to Yahoo servers.
Mayer’s post also said that the company will be working with international partners to ensure that other Yahoo-branded email is secured with SSL.
Yahoo is not the only tech giant moving toward greater security practices. Craig Timberg at the Washington Post wrote in September about Google’s similar security move.
He said data encryption won’t make snooping — by agencies such as the NSA — impossible. But it will make it more difficult.
SSL is a cryptographic protocol used in HTTPS-enabled websites. The protocol uses asymmetric cryptography to both ensure the identity of a user (Yahoo user) and host (Yahoo server) and to encrypt the data sent between the two parties.
Many banking and financial data websites use SSL to encrypt information such as names, phone numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card data. E-commerce sites that accept credit cards often use SSL to protect the privacy of their transactions.
Image courtesy of Yahoo! Inc. via Wikimedia Commons