Google Chrome’s lock icon, which signifies whether a website is running HTTPS or not, is scheduled to be replaced by a tune icon in September. The new icon will house privacy settings alongwith the HTTPS information.
According to Google, since HTTPS has become the norm in contrast to being an exception a few years back, even phishing and scam websites have started using HTTPS, which shows a padlock in their address bar. While the padlock icon was originally meant to signify trustworthiness, that’s no longer the case. Moreover, the company believes that people would usually oversee the settings that lay underneath the padlock icon due to its nature.
As a result, the company has decided to change the icon to make it easier for people to understand that they can access additional privacy settings underneath.
What does the lock icon represent?
The lock icon is a crucial feature in web browsing that indicates a secure connection. It appears in the address bar next to the website’s URL and signifies that the connection between your browser and the website is secure. This encryption protects your data from being intercepted by third parties.
Google claims that only 11% of the participants in a 2021 research understood the correct meaning of the lock icon.
What changes are coming to Chrome’s lock icon?
The lock icon will be updated in Chrome 117 to a variant of the tune icon, the Chrome 117 will release in early September 2023. Google believes the tune icon looks more clickable and is commonly related to settings and other controls and also it does not imply the trustworthiness of the page.
The lock icon on Android will be updated simultaneously with the desktop change. However, since the lock icon on iOS can’t be tapped, it will be completely removed from the browser. Across all platforms, plaintext HTTP will still be labelled as insecure.
The lock icon will not be removed completely, it will be available under the tune icon with the other page controls.
“We think the new icon helps make permission controls and additional security information more accessible while avoiding the misunderstandings that plague the lock icon,” Google announced on Tuesday.
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