Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) added a message to its Google Chrome about a year ago that warned users of insecure websites that used the old HTTP protocol, rather than HTTPS.
As TechCrunch reports, the move has been enormously successful in pushing hundreds of thousands of website operators to switch to the more secure standard:
Google’s push to make the web more secure by flagging sites using insecure HTTP connections appears to be working. The company announced today that 64 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up 42 percent from a year ago. In addition, over 75 percent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected, up from 60 percent on Mac and 67 percent on ChromeOS a year ago. Windows traffic is up to 66 percent from 51 percent.
Google also notes that 71 of the top 100 websites now use HTTPS by default, up from 37 percent a year ago.
HTTPS is important because it helps prevent “man in the middle” attacks by hackers looking to steal users’ data by encrypting information sent by the user to a website, and vice-versa. Kudos to Google for helping push the standard’s proliferation, and making the web safer for billions of users around the world.
Alphabet Inc shares closed at $1,005.07 on Friday, up $3.23 (+0.32%). Year-to-date, GOOGL has gained 26.83%, versus a 16.66% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.