U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked leading companies to improve their Web site security in order to protect consumers who access their sites at public wireless hotspots.

"The New York Democrat ... issued a call to such companies as Amazon and Twitter to switch their default pages to HTTPS from HTTP to help prevent cybercriminals from stealing online passwords and credit card numbers over public Wi-Fi networks," writes CNET News' Lance Whitney. "In his request, Schumer said that programs such as Firesheep allow even hackers with no programming skills to easily capture usernames, passwords, browsing history, and other private information from unsuspecting users in spots with unsecure Wi-Fi."

"Schumer acknowledged that some Web sites do initially encrypt user information, while others offer an option to turn on HTTPS, but none of them uses HTTPS as 'the default for all use and browsing,'" Whitney writes.

Click here to read the CNET News article.

For regular security news updates, follow eSecurityPlanet on Twitter: @eSecurityP.