Google to Ramp Up Warnings for Sites That Use HTTP
Starting January 2017, Chrome will explicitly mark web pages as insecure if they use HTTP for transmitting sensitive data.In its self-assumed quest to make the internet a safer place for everyone, Google will soon start publicly shaming websites that fail to use the HTTPS protocol for transmitting passwords and other sensitive data. But instead of a scarlet letter, Google will shame them by marking their websites as "non-secure" so users know clearly that their personal data is not being protected adequately. Website owners have until Jan. 1, 2017, to implement HTTPS for transmitting sensitive data. It is after that date that Google's new site labeling policy will go into effect. The move is part of an ongoing effort by the company to get website owners to start using HTTPS, long considered a much safer alternative to HTTP. Eventually, Google will start marking all HTTP sites as non-secure and not just when they fail to use HTTPS to handle sensitive data. "Our plan to label HTTP sites more clearly and accurately as non-secure will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria," Chrome security team member Emily Schechter wrote on Google's Online Security Blog this week. "Starting January 2017, Chrome 56 will label HTTP pages with password or credit card form fields as 'not secure,' given their particularly sensitive nature."
The move to explicitly label sites as being non-secure marks a planned escalation of Google's current practice of using a neutral indicator on Chrome to indicate HTTP connections. Chrome has for sometime now used a green lock icon on sites that use HTTPS to let users know they are on a secure site.