The Secure URL label HTTPS will no longer be seen on Google Chrome by September of this year. Google believes that secure websites should be the norm and as such, do not need any more labels.
The news was confirmed on May 17 by Google Chrome Security Product Manager Emily Schecter on the company's official blog. According to Schecter, users of Chrome version 69 will no longer see the green “Secure” label and lock icon beside HTTPS secure websites starting in September. Meanwhile, sites without HTTPS certificates will trigger a “Not Secure” label on Chrome 70 by October.
— Let's Encrypt (@letsencrypt) May 21, 2018
Schecter also explained that the move is because of the company's belief that users understand that the web is a relatively safe place. HTTPS should be what all websites aim for and should be the default status. Therefore, it would be better if search engines give a warning about the few potentially dangerous sites rather than label the majority of websites as safe.
To those who are still confused over HTTP and HTTPS, the latter is a more secure version of the former. The “S” at the end of the acronym actually stands for “Secure.” The program makes it a safer communication protocol for websites, thereby making it more difficult for malicious individuals to hack sites and snoop in data packets.
Chrome's move to do away with “Secure” labels and focus on red warning icons mean that site owners should be taking steps to secure their websites. It's clear that the previous belief that only eCommerce sites would need to secure an SSL certificate no longer holds true.
Every website will be affected by Google's decision and a prominent warning icon attached to your site could have a detrimental effect on your business. Visitors and potential customers will be scared away, thus raising bounce metrics and possibly hurting your reputation.[Featured image via Pixabay]