New York Senator Charles Schumer has called on America's largest sites to make the HTTPS protocol the default for their sites in an effort to prevent ID theft when users hop on public Wi-Fi at places like Starbucks and McDonalds.
The Senator says the growth of public Wi-Fi spots is making it easier for hackers to steal info like credit card numbers and passwords for banking institutions.
Says Schumer (via Reuters):
The number of people who use WiFi to access the Internet in coffee shops, bookstores and beyond is growing by leaps and bounds.
The quickest and easiest way to shut down this one-stop shop for identity theft is for major Web sites to switch to secure HTTPS web addresses instead of the less secure HTTP protocol.
HTTP, says the Senator, is a "welcome mat for would-be hackers." Most major site operators, outside of the banking institutions, use HTTP as the default, even if they do have HTTPS versions.