Another step toward promoting a safer browsing experience for web users—Google Chrome is now identifying sites that are using unsecured HTTP by adding “not-secure” label in the address bar.

Historically, sites associated with banking and those that handle critical personal data have leveraged HTTPS to protect information entered from being intercepted by third parties. However, with user behavior being valuable in itself, publishers of all shapes and sizes are going to want to lock down.

So, what is HTTPS?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.

Data sent using HTTPS provides three key layers of protection:

ENCRYPTION
Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.

DATA INTEGRITY
Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.

AUTHENTICATION
Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Without HTTPS there are ways for third parties or malicious web crawlers to swipe user information—subscribing to an email newsletter, entering a birthdate, or even content consumed online. There are several ways to identify users based on browsing behaviors.

Every unprotected HTTP request can potentially reveal information about the behaviors and identities of your users. Although a single visit to one of your unprotected websites may seem benign, some intruders look at the aggregate browsing activities of your users to make inferences about their behaviors and intentions, and to de-anonymize their identities.
Why HTTPS Matters

There are several resources available online for publishers to read up on how-tos and also best practices when registering a secured certificate. Whether readers come to your site for the latest headlines or to check out the latest trending challenge, using a secure HTTPS is an easy way to ensure they can continue browsing safely.