Chrome fans might have noticed a little change in their browsers today. Assuming you’re running Chrome’s latest iteration, version 68, you’ll now see a big “not secure” button in the address bar whenever you pull up a website that starts with http:// instead of https://. (For what it’s worth, I’m using Chrome version 67.0.3396.99, and it pops up there, too, whenever a page has a data entry field.)
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By the end of 2017, it's almost a certainty that the Google-developed Chrome browser will flag all non-HTTPS sites as "non-secure". Currently, only HTTPS sites lacking certificates (or out-of-date or incorrectly configured ones) earn the red triangle of doom. But what if Google flicked the switch now? What would the web look like?
Google's inexorable march towards "a more secure web" continues, with the internet giant recently posting an update regarding the next steps it will take with Chrome to flag "non-secure" websites. 2017 looks like the year things will get serious, with sites featuring data-sensitive form fields and no HTTPS support in the crosshairs.
Setting up HTTPS to bring encryption to a web domain can be an arduous process, which is why Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Cisco and Mozilla set up Let's Encrypt, a free and automated certificate authority to make the process a lot easier. Let's Encrypt has just issued its first HTTPS certificate under its beta program and here's how you can sign up to it.