Security

Google boasts HTTPS adoption numbers, gives advice to businesses making the switch

Google recently announced that more than half the pages loaded by Chrome desktop users occurred over an HTTPS connection, and called for increased adoption of the protocol.

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Image: iStockphoto/iSergey

More than half of the web pages loaded in the Chrome browser are accessed through HTTPS, according to statistics release by Google in a blog post on Thursday. Additionally, about two-thirds of the total time spent browsing by Chrome users now occurs on HTTPS-connected sites, and Google expects these numbers to continue to grow.

For those unfamiliar, HTTPS is the secure version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for communication over a network. HTTPS is known for its ability to help defend against man-in-the-middle cybersecurity attacks, and provide certain types of encryption for web traffic.

Google also announced Thursday that it was adding a section for HTTPS data in its Transparency Report. In terms of the percentage of pages loaded over HTTPS in the Chrome browser, Chrome OS users had the highest amount, followed by Mac users, Linux users, Windows users, and Android users, in that order.

SEE: 5 best practices for switching your site to HTTPS for improved security

However, this order changed when the report considered the percentage of browsing time spent on HTTPS websites in Chrome. For that metric, Linux users took the top spot by a large margin, followed by Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows, with Android users well at the bottom of the list.

"A web with ubiquitous HTTPS is not the distant future," the post said. "It's happening now, with secure browsing becoming standard for users of Chrome."

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Image: Google

The blog post by Google claims that HTTPS offers the best performance on the web and supports features like "credit card autofill and the HTML5 geolocation API that are too powerful to be used over non-secure HTTP." For companies that want to move their site to HTTPS, Google posted two FAQs to help them better understand the process.

The release of these statistics follow Google's announcement in September that it would begin labeling HTTP connections as non-secure, starting in 2017. If you're a webmaster, try using these five best practices as you make the switch.

Google has also been increasing security in other areas, too. In August, the company added HSTS encryption to Google.com, and it added new phishing warnings to Gmail around the same time.

In mid-October, Mozilla Firefox celebrated a record number of HTTPS connections as well. Apple also recently said that it would require HTTPS in all iOS apps by 2017.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google recently released numbers showing that more than half of the pages accessed in its Chrome browser were connected securely through HTTPS.
  2. Google also announced that it would begin labeling HTTP connections as non-secure, and provided a couple FAQs for businesses to make the switch.
  3. Other organizations like Apple and Mozilla have also recently made a push for HTTPS connections.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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