19 December 2014
The snow might be falling out in Verbier, but I’m still keeping up with my tech news, and yesterday I read that Google are considering a new warning for sites that aren’t yet using HTTPS. I had wondered whether this might happen, and it will be interesting to see whether or not they go ahead with it.
Put simply, HTTPS is a web protocol which signals to internet users that the connection they’re making is secure. I’d say the majority of people are familiar with it, when making payments or transfers on their bank’s online service, to give an example. As a symbol, it comes up as a padlock in your address bar.
What Google is suggesting is to have a warning sign pop up whenever you visit a website that’s only using HTTP, notifying you that the site you’re on offers little in the way of data protection. As a business, this is likely to put customers off, so whilst I understand that it might feel like a hassle to make the switch, it’s better for all parties to have a secure connection. More importantly, however, is the fact that internet users deserve to be fully informed about the security of the sites they’re browsing.
When it comes to sensitive information, such as bank details, personal addresses or medical information, it makes sense to invest in tighter security measures. It’s about being responsible and earning the trust of your visitors and potential customers. Ultimately, if the warning message proposal does come into play, HTTPS is going to become a lot more important, not only in securing connections, but in securing people’s peace of mind.