It makes an effort to upgrade page loads to HTTPS.
It might be tough to maintain your security and privacy when exploring the online, but solutions like HTTPS make it much easier. Where available, HTTPS technology encrypts your connection to a given website, guaranteeing that any data shared over that connection cannot be intercepted or manipulated by third parties. It’s already a commonly used protocol, but Google hopes to increase usage even more with a forthcoming “HTTPS-First” feature for Chrome.
This security tool will arrive with Chrome’s upcoming M94 update in September. When it goes live, users that toggle HTTPS-First mode on in their browser’s settings menu will find that all future page loads are automatically upgraded from HTTP to HTTPS when possible.
If Chrome is unable to do that operation for any reason, and the end-user is at danger of connecting to a site through an unsecured connection, the browser will show a “full-page warning” before loading the address. This will allow you to choose whether or not to visit the site if you believe it is not worth the risk. Of course, if you’re ready to face the risk, you can proceed.
Though it does not appear that Google intends to make HTTPS-First mode the default with its initial release in Chrome 94, it may do so in the future. “Based on ecosystem feedback, we’ll explore making HTTPS-First mode the default for all users in the future,” the business wrote in a blog post.
Google’s HTTPS-First option isn’t the only thing it’s doing to improve the HTTPS user experience. In the future, it will test a new alternative to the traditional HTTPS lock icon that appears on the left side of your browser’s address bar (when the protocol is active, anyway).
According to Google’s research, the average internet user (88 percent of participants) cannot determine what the lock represents. Most people seemed to believe that HTTPS meant that the site they were viewing was safe, however HTTPS only ensures the security of your connection, not the web pages you visit. A website designed to phish your personal information, or otherwise scam you in some way, could still (and likely does) have that notorious lock icon.
To debunk some of these myths, Google will experiment with replacing the lock with a downward arrow. When you click it, the normal “Connection secure” dialogue box appears.
To be honest, I don’t believe the planned adjustment will make much of a difference. For a less tech-savvy internet user, seeing the lock icon and reading green text alerting them that their connection is encrypted is likely to be the same thing. Still, it’s a noble objective, and it’d be great if it made a difference.