As you may have heard, recently voted to repeal that otherwise would have gone into effect later this year. The move effectively permits Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T to mine and sell your browsing history, location information, and in some cases even the content of your communications, similar to what and do now.

Even when it is not tied directly to a name, certain types of data can shed light on a person’s medical history, financial details, even their sexual preferences. Even the type of porn sites a person visits can be revealing.

In an announcement Thursday, the website — which claims to get 75 million visitors per day — said it has adopted HTTPS, a security measure that adds encryption to a site to guard visitors against snooping and attack. Its sister site, , will also be adding HTTPS on April 4, according to parent company MindGeek.

“With the switch to HTTPS, we are able to protect identity as well as safeguard them against exposure to malware by third parties,” said Corey Price, a vice president at Pornhub. The move by Pornhub has been months in the making.

“Privacy is paramount to us – it always has been,” Price added. “With HTTPS, users can rest assured that their browsing data is encrypted, not visible to anyone and, therefore, cannot be sold. While this transition… was in the works before Congress’ appeal, the timing is good.”

Here’s what that means in practice. Visitors to these sites should see a green padlock icon in their browser’s URL bar, a sign they are viewing the secured version of the site. Privacy experts say HTTPS helps prevent third parties — such as your Internet provider — from seeing more detailed information. While HTTPS doesn’t prevent an Internet provider from recording a visit to a site like Pornhub, in practice it keeps providers from knowing which specific videos visitors may have watched, category links they may have clicked on, or searches they may have made on the site.

“If you go to an HTTPS website with a little lock, the arc of visibility of an ISP is much diminished,” said Chris Calabrese, a policy executive at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Sites without HTTPS support — pornographic or otherwise — don’t provide these protections.

Internet users can force their browsers to view the secure version of any site (if there is one) with certain software extensions.

Pornhub safe-for-work ads Pornhub safe-for-work ads

On the heels of the congressional vote, some Americans are wondering again how to shield their online activity from outside view. Although many sites still lack support for HTTPS, more are opting to do so — including The Washington Post. For a list of sites that are HTTPS-compatible, check out this list from Google.

The Washington Post


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