The microblogging site announced it was implementing a security measure known as Perfect Forward Security that uses temporary, individual keys to encrypt each Web session instead of relying on a single master key, CNET reported Friday.
First implemented by Google, Mozilla and Facebook, the technique means an outside entity can't use a discovered key to decrypt previous messages.
While the technique will create a lag time when connecting to Twitter -- about 150 milliseconds in the United States and up to a second in for users in countries more distant from Twitter's servers -- Twitter said it considers the delay a small price users will be willing to put up with for the enhanced privacy of their communications.
When news of NSA spying was leaked by Edward Snowden, it showed "there really were organizations out there in the world that were scooping up encrypted data just so they could try to attack it at a large scale," Twitter software Jeff Hodges told The New York Times. "We were like, oh, we need to actually spend some more time and really do this right."