To the vast majority of internet users, it should come as no surprise that Google Chrome is now the most popular browser in the world – offering faster page loading times than ever before and a significantly enhanced level of security.
However, the current level of user security is something that could be improved upon and a recent announcement from the Chrome Security Team indicates that Google is about to take steps to remedy this.
If you are a regular user of the Chrome browser then you should already be familiar with the small padlock icon that appears in the address bar which indicates whether or not a particular website is considered to be secure or not.
The yellow padlock icon itself typically appears whenever a user is accessing sites which are secured using the HTTPS protocol – but up until now, any sites which are accessed using standard HTTP connections have not been unequivocally marked as non-secure by Chrome.
However, as of January 2017 – this is set to change.
How HTTP Connections are Currently Displayed
At the time of writing, any sites using non-secured connections are typically displayed with a “neutral” indicator – but this does not proactively inform a user that the connection they are using is explicitly unsecured.
The problem with standard HTTP access is that any communications between the user and the site they are accessing can easily be modified or viewed by a third party on the same network.
This means that any personal data or sensitive details you use to for logging into pr accessing a website can easily be intercepted – which is not an ideal situation to be in if you are using credit card information to make an online purchase or verify your identity.
A Promising Outlook
The good news is that over half of the websites accessed by Chrome users right now ARE protected with HTTPS encryption – which is a serious milestone compared with the statistics from a couple of years ago.
The changes that Google promises to implement will mean that any websites requiring credit card information or passwords that are not HTTPS encrypted will be flagged by means of a red triangle icon in the address bar which means that any personal data is not safe to share.
At the moment, the red triangle icon is only used to alert users in instances where existing HTTPS is broken.