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NurPhoto / Getty

In an effort to force websites to better protect their users, the Chrome web browser will label all sites not encrypting traffic as "Not secure" in the web address bar, Google announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Encrypted traffic allows users to access data on a website without allowing potential eavesdroppers to see anything the users visit. HTTPS also prevents meddlers from changing information in transit.

It's a subtle, but consequential change:

  • During normal web browsing, Google currently displays a "Not secure" warning in the next to a site's URL if it forgoes HTTPS encryption and a user enters data. Now the browser will label all sites without HTTPS encryption this way.
  • More sites have started to encrypt traffic as Google has gradually started warning users about which sites are less secure.

Google reports that nearly 70% of Android and Windows traffic is now encrypted and nearly 80% of Chrome OS and Mac traffic. When Google started its project nudging websites to use HTTPS, only around 40% of Windows and 50% of Mac traffic were protected.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.