When you are surfing the web and visiting various websites you might notice that at the top of your browser window some sites have a little green padlock next to their web address. If so, then the site also has a URL that starts with HTTPS. For example, https://www.thesite.com. The HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.
What Is HTTPS?
When HTTPS is combined with an SSL Secure Socket Layer, it means that a website is secure and it is safe to enter sensitive personal information, such as a password, a Social Security number, or a credit card number, into the site. Websites that have a web address starting with HTTP are not secure and cannot guarantee that information entered is safe.
HTTPS and Google
In its quest to make the internet a safer place, Google has been urging webmasters to transfer their sites from HTTP to HTTPS. This even applies to websites that do not collect any kind of sensitive information from users. In January 2017, Google’s Chrome browser, which according to ZDNet.com is the most popular browser, started labeling HTTP sites that have password or credit card fields as “Not Secure.”
And starting in October 2017, the browser began labeling HTTP sites as “Not Secure” when users enter any kind of data, not just sensitive information. The Chrome browser also began marking all HTTP sites visited in the Incognito mode as “Not Secure.” Google states, too, that eventually, they plan to start labeling all HTTP sites, in Incognito mode or not, as “Not Secure.” Many expect this to happen sometime in 2018.
For Security and Search
The implications are clear. Websites need to be HTTPS, no matter what kind of site they are. With recent large-scale website hacks and continuing concerns about online privacy, few things scare users off faster than seeing a warning that a website is not secure and knowing that their information is not safe.
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