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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.