If a site is not HTTPS, Google Chrome will tell users it's not secure

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The tech giants of the world are continuing their efforts to make the web a safer place, and Google Chrome is leading the charge. On Thursday, the Silicon Valley tech giant announced that Chrome will begin marking HTTP pages as nonsecure if they collect passwords or credit card information. This, the company hopes, will encourage more sites to move toward HTTPS — and otherwise adhere to general security guidelines — in order to secure their traffic.

“To help users browse safely, Chrome indicates connection security with an icon in the address bar,” Google explained in its Chromium blog. “Historically, Chrome has not explicitly labeled HTTP connections as nonsecure,” but that changes starting in version 56. Over the next few weeks, site visitors will be warned when they land on an HTTP instead of HTTPS site — this is “part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as nonsecure,” Google said.

Google has long held influence over the state of the web — both on desktop and mobile. Last year, the internet behemoth announced that it would start knocking sites if they weren’t mobile responsive, which lowers their search ranking. This certainly helped to spur an increase in mobile-responsive sites, making it easier for smartphone users to browse the web on their handheld devices.

Security is more important than ever, particularly given the increasing frequency with which breaches and hacks now occur. Google Chrome’s decision to begin explicitly marking insecure connections is aimed squarely at the issue.

Separately, Chrome 56 will also allow sites to interact with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices using the Web Bluetooth API across operating systems, including Android, Chrome OS, and Mac. As per the Chromium blog, web developers will be able to “connect to bluetooth devices such as printers and LED displays with just a few lines of JavaScript.” 

And finally, the latest version of Chrome will support CSS position: sticky, a new way to position elements. The blog explains, “A position: sticky element is relatively positioned, but becomes position: fixed after the user reaches a certain scroll position … Now, users can achieve the desired effect by simply positioning their elements as sticky.” 

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