You might have noticed the recent appearance of an attractive green padlock in your browser’s address bar. That’s because I’ve finally got around to securing your connection to DarkerSide using the wonders of https. This means that, even if you’re browsing these posts on the dodgiest of public wifis, exactly what you’re reading and any information you submit (for example your email address, if you make a comment) will be safely encrypted.
Snooping folk will still be able to see that you’re somewhere on DarkerSide.org, but that’s it – the page or post being viewed is impossible to determine.
It also makes it impossible for some oik to snatch my admin password as I’m logging in, which in turn significantly reduces the likelihood of the next article you read here being about cheap Prada bags or ways to chemically enhance your romantic prowess…
Anyway, this has only been possible because of the Internet Security Research Group and their free Certificate Authority Let’s Encrypt, which left beta in April 2016. After multiple edits of this post, it turns out that it’s not possible for me to say more without going into a full explanation of how https and public/private key encryption works, so let’s leave it at that. Hurrah for Let’s Encrypt, and a similar hurrah for my hosting provider Dreamhost for automating the installation of Let’s Encrypt certificates.
<slightly more nerdy stuff starts…>
Easy https also meant I could have a play around with OwnCloud (which is like Dropbox, but running off your own server), which in turn means I could move my contacts and calendar away from Office365 and into something that actually syncs with Thunderbird.
That means that I can move away from Outlook and back to a desktop email client that supports pgp email encryption, and that means that I can now sign, encrypt and decrypt emails even when I’m not on my mobile (Android copes much better than Windows with this stuff). Public key on my about page, if you want to avail yourself of it.
</nerdy stuff ends>
Anyway, back to bikes and babies. And rhubarb, as it happens.