Google Chrome to start marking HTTP connections as insecure

Lack of web encryption will start triggering warnings in Google's browser

To push more websites to implement encryption and to better protect users, Google will start flagging plain HTTP connections as insecure in its popular Chrome browser.

The plan will go into effect in January with the release of Chrome 56 and will roll out in stages. Chrome 56 will display a "not secure" indicator before HTTP URLs in the browser's address bar, but only for those web pages that contain password or credit card form fields.

Transmitting such sensitive information over HTTP is dangerous because the data can be intercepted by man-in-the-middle attackers on public wireless networks or via compromised routers, for example.

In later Chrome releases, the HTTP warnings will be further expanded. First, HTTP pages will be labeled as "not secure" when accessed in the browser's privacy-oriented Incognito mode. Eventually, Chrome will show the warning for all HTTP pages and will switch the security indicator to the red triangle now used for broken HTTPS connections.

"Studies show that users do not perceive the lack of a 'secure' icon as a warning, but also that users become blind to warnings that occur too frequently," said Emily Schechter, a member of the Chrome Security Team, in a blog post Thursday.

According to Google's data, half of the pages loaded by Google Chrome users are now encrypted using HTTPS, and the adoption of this important security protocol is rising among websites.

Google's other efforts to push encryption on the web include using HTTPS as a page ranking signal in its search engine. Even the online advertising industry has made significant progress in providing ads over HTTPS.

There's little reason for websites not to implement encryption today. Due to improvements in browsers, web pages can now load significantly faster over HTTPS compared to HTTP, and thanks to services like CloudFlare or the Let's Encrypt certificate authority, obtaining a Transport Layer Security certificate is now free.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?