Chrome pushes websites to HTTPS in July
By Tamera Shaw
On Feb. 8, the Chromium blog announced that Google’s Chrome web browser will mark non-HTTPS web sites as not secure beginning July 2018 to coincide with the release of Chrome 68.
Previously, Google offered search engine ranking boosts if sites migrated to the certificate in an effort to standardize encryption on web sites. According to the Chromium announcement, “For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as ‘not secure.’”
Chrome 68’s release means non-encrypted HTTP sites will be flagged in the URL address bar.
HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP, the protocol that moves data between browsers and web sites. The additional “S” indicates to users the data being sent is encrypted.
Typically used for online transactions like banking, credit card fields and submission forms,
Google wants to push all sites toward encryption.
According to Chromium, “Over the course of the last few years, Google has strongly advocated for the use of HTTPS to help keep your browsing data safe from anybody who could be spying on your web traffic while it’s in transit between your browser and a server.
With Chrome 62, Google already started marking all HTTP sites that had data entry fields as insecure and even back in 2016, it already started showing the same warning for all sites that asked for passwords and credit cards.”
Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome display a padlock icon to differentiate HTTPS sites from HTTP.
Thanks to past efforts, according to the Chromium blog:
- 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
Companies need to start now to meet Google’s deadline. For e-commerce and complex web sites, migration may take unique expertise and time.