Google is now prompting all users clicking on unsecured websites to be careful, as they are about to enter data into a potentially ‘unsafe’ website. But what does Google count as an unsafe website?
To Google, an unsafe website is one that has no encrption – one that doesn’t have an SSL certificate or (more simply) HTTPS at the beginning of the URL (instead having HTTP – which is the standard protocol).
The SSL in SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a very high-level encryption standard. SSL enables a secure connection between the client and the server for which information is sent over. Google (understandably) wants everything on the web to be travelling over secure channels, so now they will flag any unencrypted websites as not secure whilst using their Chrome browser – displaying a red ‘X’ over a padlock in the URL bar.
This change means that Google is making it very clear that it believes the internet should be surfed securely, wanting all sites to be served using HTTPS. HTTPS is basically a secure layer on top of the usual HTTP web protocol.
It’s a move that is welcomed by companies and tech experts, noting that the change is a strong idea. Right now, HTTP is still common place, however it isn’t secure and presents a potential danger to website users and brands.
Encryption has been encouraged on websites by Google since 2014, with HTTPS contributing to their ranking algorithm.
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