In 2016, Google announced plans for their Chrome browser that would push for a safer internet – they promised to mark all websites with unencrypted connections as “not secure”. This would make it easier for people to know if their personal information is safe as it travels across the web. Fast forward three years and Google have delivered on their promise – Chrome 68 has arrived and it’s naming and shaming all websites with unencrypted connections.
If you’re a little confused about what an unencrypted connection actually is, or if you just want to know why it’s important, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help.
What is an unencrypted connection?
When you load a HTTP website, your connection is not encrypted. This means that anyone on the network can access the data going back and forth, or even modify elements of the website before it gets to you. When you load a HTTPS website, your connection is encrypted and secure – this prevents interceptions from hackers and keeps your data private.
Why is Google labeling unencrypted connections as ‘not secure”?
Chrome’s “not secure” warning helps you understand when the connection to the site you’re on is unencrypted, in hopes it will prevent you from entering any sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details. Simultaneously, it also motivates site owners to improve the security of their website. Chrome is pushing developers to embrace HTTPS connections and claims that since their announcement in 2016, HTTPS usage has increased exponentially. They found in their Transparency Report that:
- 76 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up from 42 percent
- 85 percent of Chrome traffic on ChromeOS is now protected, up from 67 percent
- 83 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default, up from 37
Why is an Encrypted Connection important?
A secure connection is important for you as a site visitor because, in today’s digital world, vast amounts of your personal information are managed online – it’s almost impossible to do business without some of your data ending up in a networked system. If these connections are encrypted, it keeps this personal data private.
For site owners, it’s important to provide a secure connection for many reasons. First and foremost, it is vital to protect your customer’s data – not doing so could lead to lost trust and PR disasters. Secondly, it helps increase brand awareness and lead generation, this is because Google prefers websites with secure connections and promotes them in search results. Finally, it will help increase your conversion rate. A secure connection will build customer confidence and they’ll trust you enough with their payment details and personal information.
Google Chrome’s Next Steps
In September, Google will remove the “Secure” indicator next to HTTPS sites, in an attempt to show that connections should be encrypted by default. In October, if you attempt to enter data on an HTTP page, Chrome will show you a bright red “not secure” warning. So when you’re shopping online, you can relax knowing that Chrome has your back.
Looking to secure your website? Let HMG help!
Following the updates in September and October, Google Chrome will only continue to keep improving their security. So if you’re the owner of a website with an unencrypted connection, it’s better to secure it sooner rather than later. The good news is, HMG can help you! We offer SSL certificates that provide encrypted connections between a website and its visitors.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!