Google To Name and Shame Sites Not Using HTTPS Encryption Come January 2017

One of the topics on everybody’s mind these days is whether or not the Internet will ever be safe and secure. The short answer to that question is “not sure,” although efforts are underway to improve the overall experience. Compared to twelve months ago, things have certainly improved, but there is still a very long way to go before hacked sites can become a thing of the past.

Encrypted Connections Are A Must For Any Website

Site owners can use various tools to improve their platform security. Regardless of whether they run a small blog, a financial platform, or one of the largest news sites, encrypted connections are an absolute must. Any site not offering HTTPS connections is at risk of falling behind the curve in this era of growing internet security concerns.

A new report issued by Google goes to show that more than half of pages opened in Google Chrome use an HTTPS protocol. Additionally, users spend nearly 70% of their time on encrypted websites, which is a big step in the right direction. The usage of HTTPS connections remains vastly underestimated, however, even though it is very easy–and cost-effective–to implement this additional security layer.

Although this report only discusses the Chrome Browser, it is good to see this new trend of encrypted connections emerge at this time. Viewing pages through a secure connection is of the utmost importance and should be the new standard. We live in 2016, after all, and not using the available security tools at our disposal is no longer an acceptable course of action.

Unfortunately, these numbers only tell one part of the story. The report also mentions how only 34 of the top 100 non-Google websites are using HTTPS connections by default. That number needs to be increased sooner rather than later, as it leaves far too many platforms and site visitors vulnerable to attacks.

Google has planned an aggressive campaign to increase the number of sites using HTTPS connections, though. They will actively name and shame any site in the top 100 that is not offering this ability. Whether or not that is the right choice, remains to be seen. It may even have an adverse effect in the long run, which would not be favorable by any means.

Additionally, Google plans to mark major sites not using HTTPS connections as ‘insecure”. No website in the world wants to fall into the non-secure category, particularly not by the world’s largest search engine. The first sites targeted in this approach will be those collecting passwords or credit cards, as they run the most risk of getting attacked by internet criminals.

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