You may soon start to see a slew of warnings about how some of your favorite websites are “not secure.”
With the latest release of the Google Chrome web browser, Chrome 68, the search giant is taking a hardline stance when it comes to websites that aren’t using HTTPS. Chrome is labeling all sites using HTTP as “not secure” in the browsers address bar. Google made the announcement in a blog post titled “A milestone for Chrome security.”
In essence, Google is public shaming websites that still aren’t using HTTPS with this move.With HTTPS, the data sent between your browser and the website you visit is encrypted. When connecting to a “not secure” website using that uses simple HTTP, hackers can intercept any data passing through. In doing so, hackers can inject malware or make off with your personal data.
Google has long been pushing for HTTPS to become the standard. In 2014, the company announced that HTTPS would be taken into consideration when ranking websites on its search engine. Since 2016, HTTP sites that required users to login were already being presented to Chrome users with the “not secure” label.
Other web browsers have also warned its users of non-HTTPS websites. Last year, Firefoxmade the push for HTTPS and deployed a lock icon with a strikethrough, along with the messages “Connection is Not Secure” or “Logins entered on this page could be compromised” when you clicked through. As Wired points out, these two web browsers combined hold 73 percent of the market share.
If you’re interested in finding out which sites are “not secure,” the website Why No HTTPS?Takes a look at which of the world’s most popular websites aren’t using HTTPS. Some of these sites include t.co (Twitter’s built-in URL shortener), BBC.com, DailyMail, and ESPN.com.
Websites still using HTTP are not necessarily dangerous. Users just need to be careful what data they input on these sites. With Google’s push for HTTPS on Chrome and elsewhere, the goal is to make the internet at least a little more secure.