Back in April, Google made HTTPS the default in Chrome to boost security. Now, it’s going one step further to drive HTTPS adoption amongst its many users, with an HTTPS-First Mode set to arrive in Chrome 94.
The move comes as part of Google's sustained drive to encourage users to only connect to websites over HTTPS rather than HTTP, which is considered to be a more secure way of browsing the web.
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Announced by the company on Wednesday (July 1) after numerous research papers (opens in new tab) by the firm, the HTTPS-first feature will seek to elevate page loads to HTTPS. In scenarios where this isn't possible for the Chrome browser, then it will alert users that they may be compromising their security with a full-page warning when accessing an HTTP page.
For anyone wondering what these strangely jumbled letters mean: HTTPS, by definition, is basically HTTP with encryption — and multiple web pages we visit every day already support it. The primary difference between the two protocols is that HTTPS encrypts normal HTTP requests, which means it's infinitely more secure (opens in new tab) when, say, using something like public Wi-Fi.
Safety mode 'activated'
Though the mode remains optional for the time being and needs to be toggled on by users for it to work, Google has indicated that it could make the feature default for everyone in the future. This would make sense considering the rampant amount of security threats users face on a daily basis,
According to Google, HTTPS-First Mode will roll out with Chrome 94 (opens in new tab). Right now, that's scheduled for release in September, with the company planning to fully support HTTP connections until it says differently. If you're interested in Chrome-related updates, then check out this recent announcement from Google in which it takes aim at accidentally closed tabs.