A tablet displays the homepage of Facebook in the Spanish language, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo: AFP/Hector Guerrero
While the Facebook page of most users is about to slow down, it might actually be a boon in disguise as the change will help keep online thieves away.
According to a recent blog post, Facebook is in the process of moving all of its users in North America, and soon all the global users, to a type of Internet connection that is more secure but also tends to slow down Web browsing a bit.
Called HTTPS, as opposed to less-secure HTTP, it's the connection we can see on online retail sites when we are about to enter credit card information or a password. It can be identified as a little lock icon that appears in the browser window when we are connected to a site with HTTPS, in which the "s," stands for "secure," CNN reports.
"As the Web evolves, expectations around security change. For example, HTTPS-once a technology used primarily on banking and e-commerce sites-is now becoming the norm for any Web app that stores user information," Facebook's Alex Rice had written last year when he announced that HTTPS would become an option on Facebook.
According to the report. the new change is that Facebook is starting make HTTPS the default setting for all its 1 billion-plus users, so people who haven't selected that option soon will get added security and, potentially, slower browsing.
"It is far from a simple task to build out this capability for the more than a billion people that use the site and retain the stability and speed we expect, but we are making progress daily towards this end," Facebook's Frederic Wolens told a tech news site.
"This may slow down connections only slightly, but we have deployed significant performance enhancements to our load balancing infrastructure to mitigate most of the impact of moving to HTTPS, and will be continuing this work as we deploy this feature," he added.
To find out whether you're using HTTPS or HTTP, look at the top of your browser window, where you enter Internet addresses. If you go to Facebook and see https://facebook.com in that box, then you're browsing on the more-secure connection, the report said.