Chrome 90 pushes adoption of HTTPS by making it the default protocol

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Back in March Google confirmed that it would be making HTTPS the default protocol for its Chrome browser over HTTP. This as the former offered greater resilience as far as security and privacy goes, with it better equipped to handle anyone wanting to look into user browser habits without the consent to do so.

That default setting is now making its way to Chrome’s desktop channels via version 90 of the browser, with it now available to Windows 10, macOS and Linux.

“HTTPS protects users by encrypting traffic sent over the network, so that sensitive information users enter on websites cannot be intercepted or modified by attackers or eavesdroppers. Chrome is invested in ensuring that HTTPS is the default protocol for the web, and this change is one more step towards ensuring Chrome always uses secure connections by default,” Google’s blog post on the subject noted.

The new version also contains a number of fixes and features aimed at improving the overall stability of the browser, all of which you can look at in detail here.

As Engadget notes via Bleeping Computer, the release of version 90 comes a day later than expected, as fixes for day zero exploits likely needing to be addressed.

As for what this change in default settings means for end users – whenever a URL is typed into the address bar that does not contain a protocol, namely HTTP or HTTPS, it will now automatically be considered to be the latter. The upshot of this will mean a faster browsing experience, according to Google, as sites no longer have to redirect to HTTPS from HTTP if they did so previously.

It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this new default setting which Google outlined during its March announcement.

“IP addresses, single label domains, and reserved hostnames such as test/ or localhost/ will continue defaulting to HTTP,” it has confirmed.

If you have the latest version of Chrome, which you’ll be able to see here, the default protocol should be in place.

[Image – Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.