By Tom / may 04, 2023

Google Takes Action to Improve Security: Replacing Misleading Lock Icon on Chrome Browser

Google is changing Chrome's lock icon because no one knows what it means. It will be replaced by a new icon later this year so that users don't get the wrong idea about how "trustworthy" a website is.

Google Takes Action

The padlock sign that shows a website is safe has been in the URL bar of web browsers for so long that it's almost like it's always been there. This is why Google plans to remove it from Chrome later this year.

Google Takes Action

The search giant announced on Tuesday that the lock will be replaced by a new "tune" icon when Chrome 117 comes out in September. This is part of a larger update of the browser based on the theme "Material You."

Google Takes Action

More than just "prettying up" Chrome is behind the update: Google says that in a study it did in 2021, only 11% of the people who took part actually knew what the lock button was for.

Google Takes Action

It first showed up in the 1990s, after Netscape released HTTPS, a protocol that lets users share sensitive information like banking information and login credentials safely over the web by encrypting them.

Google Takes Action

When HTTPS was new and people needed to learn more about its benefits, that made sense. But now, over 95 percent of Chrome pages loaded on Windows use the protocol, so it's the preferred connection.

Google Takes Action

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