Keeping your data and information safe online is at or near the top of many people’s priority list. If you use Chrome, you might notice a newer alert on some sites. Miki Miller, digital analyst at Lawrence & Schiller, says the change is about the letter “s” in your address bar.
“What’s starting to happen is Google and Chrome, as well as Firefox is also exploring the option, is alerting you if you’re seeing a non-secure site, so you can tell it’s a secure site if it is the ‘https,’ that ‘s’ has been that extra layer of security,” Miller said. “You can also tell it’s a secure site if there’s a little lock in front of the URL.”
Without those two things, you might see an alert saying it’s not a secure site. It will also ask if you want to continue.
“If you know the website, you know it’s a legit company, and you feel comfortable with it, go ahead and pass through, go to the non-secure site,” Miller said. “You’re probably going to be fine.”
But if you don’t know a lot about that URL, take a minute to look around.
“If there’s a lot of other things that might be alarming, things that are popping up, the URL looks a little strange, then maybe don’t go past,” Miller said. “But otherwise, non-secure sites are still for the most part safe.”
If a site isn’t secure, you should never enter any personal or financial information, because there’s a chance it could end up in the wrong hands.
“Absolutely, and that’s really what this is now starting to call out, to say hey, this doesn’t have that extra layer of security on it, do you still want to continue,” Miller said.
Miller says secure websites “are always best practice.” She also says that if you have a website, it’s not hard to make it secure.