If you’re using Google Chrome, you’re likely going to be familiar with the “Secure” label and badge to the left of the address bar on most websites. They are normally gray with the “Secure” name on them, with those unsecure sites appearing red instead. This was Google’s handy way of telling users that those sites may be risky for usage, and should be best treated with caution. However, new developments will have Google remove the “Secure” badge to HTTPS sites entirely. What does this entail?
Before we proceed to Google’s decision to remove the “Secure” labels to HTTPS sites, perhaps we should ask another question: just why exactly is the “S” in HTTPS so important? According to Computer World, this is primarily because a more secure HTTP site will help you get yourself protected in a public place.
Basically, the S in HTTPS simply stands for “secure.” It’s important to remember that when you connect to a server through the HTTPS system, this means your request for HTML access is done with a secure sockets layer (SSL). When we say SSL, this is a protocol that enables secure communication between servers and clients, which means encryption will be in place to make sure no one can “eavesdrop” on what data is being sent and received across these networks. This also helps avoid hackers such as those who want to take advantage of vulnerable connections from peeking into your conversation.
Removing The Mark
It can be remembered that Google Chrome version 59 originally had the green “Secure” text on the address bar for HTTPS website. Last October, this feature was improved by adding a red “Not secure” label when entering websites that don’t have the adequate HTTPS certificates. It seems Google will remove this system entirely in hopes of upholding HTTPS as the new “golden standard” of secure transfer protocols across Chrome users and site users alike.
Google’s argument is that HTTPS labels should not appear on websites anymore because the default assumption for users should be that a website must be secured automatically. Others argue that it’s much better to just retain the label instead of just removing it entirely, as this at least educates readers and viewers on the various risks they might be entering because of an unsecure site.
However, Google countered that HTTPS is becoming much cheaper to implement and much easier to integrate, which means sites who do wish to be considered valid and credible must be able to integrate their websites with HTTPS.
The Takeaway: Security Standards
If Google’s explanation is to be taken as it is, perhaps the removal of the “Secure” label to HTTPS is Google’s way of standardizing its HTTPS preference – something it’s been pushing for these past years given the kind of security HTTPS can offer that normal HTTP sites normally can’t. If the changes push through in a few months, perhaps it might be best for non-HTTPS sites to update their certificates, especially given the bulk of Google Chrome users that might be their patrons as well.
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