Google has just enabled https on their core search domain google.com. Users who want to access the encrypted Google web search can point their browsers to https://www.google.com/ to do so. The technology, which is known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), encrypts the data traffic between the user's computer and the Internet server they want to access.
Https sites are widely known in the financial sector, on shopping sites and during log ins.The session-wide encryption ensures that information entered in a session is safe from being intercepted by another user in the computer network.
Internet users can verify that the connection uses SSL by looking at the url in the address bar. The connection is secure if it begins with https. Google has created a new logo to further inform users. The Google SSL logo is another visual indicator that SSL is used to connect to Google.
In this stage SSL is only enabled for Google web search and not for other services offered by Google such as Google Maps or Google Images.
Users might also experience a slower than regular Google search experience due to the additional step of establishing a secure connection.
It has to be noted that SSL does not provide complete security. A user connecting to Google https can be sure that the traffic (like search phrases) will be encrypted while on the Google website. Most search results on the other hand make no use of https which means that it can still be possible (for an ISP or network user) to identify the target websites.
SSL will also not aid if viruses or trojans are installed on the user's computer system.
SSL search is nevertheless a step in the right direction. It is likely that Google will roll out encryption to some of their other services in the near future.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.