However, with Chrome 90, Google is switching the default protocol for incomplete URLs to the more secure HTTPS. As long as websites support HTTPS, unfinished URLs will load via HTTPS instead of HTTP.
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In a blog post, Google said: “Starting in version 90, Chrome’s address bar will use https:// by default, improving privacy and even loading speed for users visiting websites that support HTTPS. Chrome users who navigate to websites by manually typing a URL often don’t include ‘http://’ or ‘https://’. For example, users often type ‘example.com’ instead of ‘https://example.com’ in the address bar. In this case, if it was a user’s first visit to a website, Chrome would previously choose http:// as the default protocol. This was a practical default in the past, when much of the web did not support HTTPS.
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The Mountain View firm went on to add that sites that don’t currently support HTTPS will still work. Chrome will just switch these URLs back to the less-secure HTTP option.
This major change to the way Chrome works will begin rolling out on the desktop and Android versions of Chrome, with iOS following afterwards.
And this big Chrome shake-up could help to drive up the adoption of HTTPS even further. According to a Google Transparency Report released last year, the percentage of encrypted web traffic has increased from around 50 percent in 2014 to between 80 and 90 today.
Google’s decision in 2018 to show a ‘Not Secure’ label for HTTP websites could have helped play a part in this increased adoption of HTTPS. And the latest Chrome change could help strong-arm any remaining sites still using HTTP even further into making the switch to HTTPS.