Google Chrome 90 to use HTTPS by default

With privacy and security being so important nowadays, you would think internet users would demand that all websites use the encrypted HTTPS protocol rather than "regular" HTTP. But as usual, humans are often ignorant or lazy when it comes to their own online safety. Ultimately, it is up to corporations to protect us. After all, we can't depend on the government for such oversight (nor would we want to).

Once again, Google is stepping in to better protect its users. This time, the wildly popular Chrome web browser is getting more secure thanks to a simple tweak. You see, in the upcoming version 90 of the browser, the search giant is making HTTPS default when typing in an address in the URL bar. In other words, you will now see https:// instead of http:// unless you specifically type in the latter.

"Chrome will now default to HTTPS for most typed navigations that don't specify a protocol. HTTPS is the more secure and most widely used scheme in Chrome on all major platforms. In addition to being a clear security and privacy improvement, this change improves the initial loading speed of sites that support HTTPS, since Chrome will connect directly to the HTTPS endpoint without needing to be redirected from http:// to https://," explains Shweta Panditrao and Mustafa Emre Acer, Google Chrome team.


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The Chrome team members further say, "For sites that don’t yet support HTTPS, Chrome will fall back to HTTP when the HTTPS attempt fails (including when there are certificate errors, such as name mismatch or untrusted self-signed certificate, or connection errors, such as DNS resolution failure). This change is rolling out initially on Chrome Desktop and Chrome for Android in version 90, with a release for Chrome on iOS following soon after."

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Chrome 90 won't be officially released as stable until April, so this is not a change users will see immediately. Thankfully, since Google is having the web browser fall back to http:// when https:// is not available, this should prove to be uneventful for web developers and website owners. However, the writing is on the wall -- future web browsers may end up blocking unsecure traffic altogether, so if you own or maintain a website that isn't using https:// yet, it is time to make that change.

Image credit: ktsdesign / Shutterstock

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