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The web is a safer place than before, says Google's Transparency Report

It may not seem so, but apparently the web is a lot safer than it was a year ago. That is, according to Google’s new Transparency Report, which notes that an impressive number of sites have migrated to HTTPS, the protocol used for secure communication on the internet. As per a blog post published earlier this week by Adrienne Porter Felt and Emily Schechter of the Chrome Security Team, “A web with ubiquitous HTTPS is not the distant future. It’s happening now, with secure browsing becoming standard for users of Chrome.”

Beginning in early 2015, Google began measuring the frequency of HTTPS connections, largely by way of Chrome users who share usage statistics wit the internet giant. As the company notes in its Transparency Report, “These metrics allow us to better understand Chrome users’ HTTPS experiences and inform us as we work to improve Chrome’s user interface,” and as per its latest findings, HTTPS usage has continued to increase over time.

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“Secure web browsing through HTTPS is becoming the norm. Desktop users load more than half of the pages they view over HTTPS and spend two-thirds of their time on HTTPS pages,” Google found. “HTTPS is less prevalent on mobile devices, but we see an upward trend there, too.” Further, the company noted, “Users of Chrome on desktop spend a larger amount of time on HTTPS pages than on HTTP pages. This rate is increasing across both mobile and desktop.”

Of course, not all countries are created equal when it comes to HTTPS prevalence. Google pointed out that while HTTPS use in Russia has increased rather quickly, the same cannot be said for Japan. However, this is something Google hopes to address in the coming years, as it seeks to make the web ever more secure.

“As the remainder of the web transitions to HTTPS, we’ll continue working to ensure that migrating to HTTPS is a no-brainer, providing business benefit beyond increased security,” Felt and Schechter concluded in their blog post. “HTTPS currently enables the best performance the web offers and powerful features that benefit site conversions, including both new features such as service workers for offline support and web push notifications, and existing features such as credit card autofill and the HTML5 geolocation API that are too powerful to be used over non-secure HTTP.”
So get ready, world. HTTPS is the future.

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