As all great developers do, Google are making some updates to Google Chrome. It was released this week that as of October 2017, Chrome will advise users when they are completing a form on a page using HTTP.
I should take a step back here, and briefly clarify what I’m going on about. When visiting a web page, you are requesting the page from the server that its stored on. The server will then show you the page. The request and the reply are sent over the internet using something called HTTP.
So now I know what HTTP is, but what is HTTPS?
Well HTTPS works the same as HTTP but adds some more security during the travel. Using HTTPS on your site makes sure that any data given to your website are delivered safely.
If you were going to send a personal note, would you prefer a postcard where anyone can see what's written or would you seal the note in an envelope, ensuring that only the recipient gets to read the note and they know it was sealed when it arrives? For my information, it’s always going to be the envelope.
It’s the same with transferring data on the internet. When I’m giving anyone my details, it’s HTTPS.
eBay, Amazon, PayPal? They’re all using HTTPS to make sure your data is given to them safely.
What’s your point?
Well Google have announced that they are going to start telling Chrome users when the form they are filling in will transfer data over HTTP. Until now, the user has filled in the form and sent it off knowing nothing about how it will be delivered. Google Chrome is the leading browser worldwide having over 40% of all internet users. In fact, over 70% of our visitors were on Chrome.
Despite the internet being so common today, people are still careful when it comes to using it. Now that people will be told when filling in a form whether it’s secure or not, regardless of the content, no one likes being told their data is not secured (even if it is just their name and email address). You don’t want to lose potential leads because they were told your form is not secured, so SSL is now a necessity rather than the optional add-on its been considered as in the past.
Not only will site visitors potentially be put-off but you will likely notice a drop in your visitor statistics, too. Now that Google see SSL as a must-have, the rankings through their Search Engine will prefer to refer users to sites they can trust. If you’re on the first page of search results without an SSL, that perhaps won’t be the case in a few months.
I, for one, think this is a great step forward in the field of Web Security. Implementing sites with a security certificate is something we have considered “the norm” for quite some time. And now, thanks to Google, the internet is one step closer to being a more trusted, comfortable place for all types of services.