Yesterday, the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported a story about Google warning visitors of the websites of 50 well-known Swedish brands. Read it here.
Even if it might be a stretch to claim that visiting these sites is “unsafe” because they do not have HTTPS (encrypted information between visitor and site), it is still interesting to see that the effects of the Google aim “HTTPS everywhere” are starting to appear in this type of context.
The use of HTTPS has for a long time been a given when it comes to handling sensitive information. According to the article, representatives for some of the affected sites state that they do use HTTPS on the parts of their sites that handle sensitive information. This partition has (at least until now) been considered “best practice”.
With its unique position, Google decides what is to be considered “best practice”, and their aim, as stated previously, is that the entire site shall be HTTPS, not HTTP.
In order to push this development forward, Google has previously stated they intend to gradually increase the importance of HTTPS when it comes to Google searches. Therefore, it is fair to say that the move towards to an increase in encrypted traffic between visitor and site will only continue.
For a company with high brand awareness, it is easy to play down the importance of this and consider this type of security issue mainly to be a problem for lesser-known brands. Just as legal trademark protection, the brand’s digital brand protection needs to be ensured and maintained in order to maintain/increase in value. It is important that the business community is a part of the solution and a driver in the development of a safer Internet.
In conclusion, the trend is having a safe site on an otherwise unsafe web. The most frequently visited sites ought to be in forefront of this development, not falling behind.