If there’s one thing many of us worry about when we jump on our browsers, it’s security. We want to make sure that our browsing is safe, and because of that, we avoid certain websites if we have reason to believe they won’t be secure.
Google is going to make it easier for us to find out which pages are secure. Starting with Chrome 68, due out this July, all unencrypted pages that are not HTTPS will be marked as “not secure.”
What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS is a modification of HTTP. The only difference is it’s secured, offering security of your data, helping to prevent hacking and eavesdropping. It ensures that you’re communicating with the desired website and not an attacker.
It’s encrypted by TLS, while it was previously protected by SSL, so it’s sometimes referred to as HTTP over TLS or HTTP over SSL. HTTP sites, however, are unencrypted.
Initially, HTTPS websites were used when initiating a payment and for very sensitive information on websites. But as time went on, it started being used by more and more websites to ensure authenticity as well as privacy.
HTTP’s Future on Chrome
Google has been heavily suggesting the last few years that everyone use HTTPS rather than HTTP to keep their online activity safe. A few years back it was marking all HTTP sites that asked for passwords and credit cards as insecure. With the 62 version of Chrome, it started marking all HTTP sites that had fields that required the input of data as insecure.
But now with the upcoming version of Chrome 68, every HTTP site, no matter what it’s offering will be flagged as “not secure.”
Google offers up some stats noting that 81 of the top 100 websites are now using HTTPS, and 80 percent of Chrome traffic on Chrome OS and Mac and 70 percent of Chrome traffic on Windows is now protected. For Android that number is reduced slightly to 68 percent.
Despite all websites that offered forms and the use of credit cards being marked as insecure, this means 20 to 30 percent of sites, depending on the platform, have still not switched over to HTTPS yet, despite it being easy to do so.
While Chrome making this upcoming move means that some websites will be encouraged to make the move to HTTPS, clearly not all will and will decide to just continue with HTTP.
What This Means for You
You have choices, as you always have, of what websites to visit. If you choose to visit an HTTP site that’s requiring your financial data, it’s risky, but it’s your choice. Google just wants to be sure you know that.
And that won’t change, at least not with Chrome 68. You will still be free to use whatever site you wish. But with the sites being clearly marked as “not secure,” it will act as a warning, just so you know what’s at stake.
How do you feel about this upcoming change? Do you still visit HTTP sites? Or do you protect your online activities and avoid HTTP sites? How will this change affect you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.