Internet giant Google has claimed that its campaign to shift web traffic to HTTPS is bearing fruit, with HTTPS on its Chrome web browser now securing 64 per cent of internet traffic on Android devices.
This, according to Google’s latest Transparency Report, is up 22 per cent from a year ago, when HTTPS protected 42 per cent of Chrome traffic.
“It’s only been a year, but HTTPS usage has already made some incredible progress,” the tech giant claimed in a blog post. “HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it enables both the best performance the web offers and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.”
The firm’s Transparency report also claims that over 75 per cent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected thanks to HTTPS, up from 60 per cent on Mac and 67 per cent on Chrome OS a year ago.
More impressively, Google says that 71 of the top 100 sites on the web no use HTTPS by default, which is up from 37 sites just a year ago.
“We’re also excited to see HTTPS usage increasing around the world,” Google added.
It continued: “We’ve seen HTTPS usage surge recently in Japan; large sites like Rakuten, Cookpad, Ameblo, and Yahoo Japan all made major headway towards HTTPS in 2017. Because of this, we’ve seen HTTPS in Japan surge from 31 per cent to 55 per cent in the last year, measured via Chrome on Windows.”
Google’s report said the same upward trend has been noted in other regions, too, such as Brazil, where HTTPS is up from 50 per cent to 66 percent compared to 59 per cent to 73 per cent in the US.
Google has pushed hard for web sites to use encryption to secure web traffic, urging sites to use HTTPS – secure hyper-text transport protocol – over plain HTTP to transmit web pages to users.
The need for universal web encryption was clearly illustrated by the Edward Snowden NSA leaks in 2013, which showed how pervasive governments’ spying on their citizens was.
Google ratcheted up its campaign in 2016 when it started down-ranking sites that did not deliver web pages in HTTPS format as standard.
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