Twitter users are now able to improve the security of their account when tweeting away from home by flipping the "always on" switch on HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).

Using Twitter via an HTTPS connection "will improve the security of your account and better protect your information if you're using Twitter over an unsecured Internet connection, like a public WiFi network, where someone may be able to eavesdrop on your site activity," explained Twitter in a March 15 blog post.

Google introduced optional HTTPS connections for Gmail in 2008 before eventually deciding that "turning https on for everyone was the right thing to do" as a default in January 2010.

Facebook also gave users more control over their security by introducing an "always on" HTTPS option for users in January 2011.

Twitter previously offered its services over a secure connection but required PC users to manually type in every time they visited the site.

To turn on HTTPS as a default, visit your Twitter account settings and check the box next to "Always use HTTPS" at the bottom of the page.

When accessing Twitter from a mobile phone, users will have to continue to type to ensure their communications are encrypted over a secure connection (unless they are using the official Twitter for iPhone and iPad mobile application, which uses an HTTPS connection as default).

Twitter has said it is working on a solution that will "share the 'Always use HTTPS' setting across and, so you don't have to think about which device you're using when you want to check Twitter."

Wikipedia has more information about HTTPS and provides some examples of why you might want to use it whenever possible.