The lock icon on Google Chrome is going away

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Google Chrome is probably the most popular browser in the world today, though there are better choices for privacy, but I digress. Google Chrome rose to prominence back in the days Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and other browsers were becoming difficult to use. The new browser offered better speeds and a better user experience than its competition.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

One of the features Google Chrome introduced was the lock icon at the top left of the address bar. This lock icon was a way to show users that the website they were visiting had a valid SSL license and was encrypted. It was a way to distinguish if a website was using HTTP or HTTPS (no lock vs. lock).

But now, Google feels the lock icon has outlived its usefulness and could even mislead users into thinking a website is 100% secure. The problem is, anyone can get an SSL certificate for any website, but that doesn’t mean they can’t insert malicious code into that website and make it a threat to you.

HTTPS only prevents the website traffic from being transmitted in plain text, which is helpful for those who are trying to eavesdrop on your traffic. But malicious phishing websites can still put all sorts of nasty things on a page they built and secured with HTTPS.

PCMag pulled a quote from Google saying; “This misunderstanding is not harmless—nearly all phishing sites use HTTPS, and therefore also display the lock icon,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “Misunderstandings are so pervasive that many organizations, including the FBI, publish explicit guidance that the lock icon is not an indicator of website safety.”

Google was a big pusher of HTTPS, as most websites back then were not using it. While HTTPS is a good thing, it’s not assurance that the websites you are visiting are safe. Therefore, Google will be removing the lock icon from Google Chrome in September of this year.

What do you think of this move from Google? Do you use Chrome? Please share your thoughts on your favorite social media site and tag us on Facebook, X, MeWe, and LinkedIn. Or join our Telegram channel here.

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