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Secure or not secure? Google begins HTTP clampdown

Website security has long been around for the purposes of online banking and other secure sites that require your personal data. Now Google have taken steps to ensure that every website is encrypted. And they won’t be afraid to tell you if it isn’t.

With a stark warning to unencrypted and unsecure sites, Google have made the decision to use the latest update of its own web browser, Chrome 68, to mark any standard HTTP site as ‘not secure’, starting in July.

For any sites that aren’t currently HTTPS, Chrome displays a neutral information symbol (a circle with an ‘i’ inside) in the address bar. People are used to seeing this of course, and probably pay little attention to it, but with Chrome 68, non-secure sites will now display the words ‘Not secure’ next to the neutral information symbol.

SSL encryption on the up

Google has been advising users for several years, warning them not to use unencrypted websites. As far back as 2015, Google started to penalise unencrypted sites by down-ranking them. And in 2016, Google issued a similar warning for unencrypted password fields. And despite a caution at the back end of 2017 on site security, this is their starkest warning yet.

Google have said that to decision to ‘out’ non-secure websites had been brought on by more and more sites using SSL encryption for security. And while many of the top websites are now HTTPS by default, the majority of Chrome traffic is also encrypted.

Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected
Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected
81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default

Source: https://security.googleblog.com/2018/02/a-secure-web-is-here-to-stay.html

Chrome security product manager, Emily Schechter, has gone on record saying “Based on the awesome rate that sites have been migrating to HTTPS and the strong trajectory through this year, we think that in July the balance will be tipped enough so that we can mark all HTTP sites.”

HTTP vs HTTPS

So what’s the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Well, it’s only one letter different, but that little ‘s’ counts for a lot when it comes to your data and information safety. HTTPS encryption protects the gap between your web browser and the website you’re visiting, meaning no one can intercept the info you’re sending or receiving, or spy on what you’re doing.

ssl

Without this encryption, anyone with the means and know how to do so can take any of the information you send or receive – think credit cards details and confidential, personal information – or even infect websites with malware and viruses that would then have a direct link to your own Mac or PC.

Priority Pixels security

Getting your site encrypted and secure is now easier and cheaper than ever and there are no excuses not to do it. If you need any help or advice on getting the latest SSL encryption for your own site to make it’s secure and Google friendly, get in touch with us today. Call the team on 0800 319 6198 or email us on: hello@prioritypixels.co.uk.


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