It is possible to enable a new Site Information button in Google Chrome. On its official Chromium Blog, Google announced an experiment in Chrome intended to reduce confusion among users. A new blog post shares more information about HTTPS adoption, upcoming changes in Chrome to default to HTTPS, and Google's plans to improve security for users visiting HTTP websites. Besides, Google revealed its plans to change a lock icon in Omnibox to a "more neutral" option.
In Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers, the address bar displays a lock icon when a user opens a website using a secured HTTPS connection. Clicking that button reveals more information, such as site permissions, tracking prevention, etc. According to Google, the lock button confuses many. Users think the icon indicates a safe website, not merely an encrypted connection. Curiously, a recent study revealed that only 11% of users properly understand the meaning of the lock icon in Omnibox. With the upcoming experiment, Google wants to clarify that the lock icon in Omnibox does not indicate a trusted website. A page may use a secured connection and be harmful or malicious at the same time.
The latest version of Chrome Canary comes with a new experimental flag that replaces the lock icon with an arrow-down button. Google will run an experiment in which the company will enable that flag by default for some users. You can already try the change by updating Chrome Canary.
To enable the new Site Information button in Google Chrome, do the following.
- Open Chrome.
chrome://flags/#omnibox-updated-connection-security-indicatorsin the address bar and press Enter.
- Set the flag to Enabled, then restart the browser.
It is important to mention that the experiment does not affect HTTP websites. Chrome will continue displaying the "Not Secure" indicator on pages without connection encryption. There is no information on whether Microsoft and other Chromium contributors plan to follow suit and replace the lock icon. After all, Google says it is only an experiment, so there is no guarantee the company will ship the change to all users.
Read more about upcoming changes in Google Chrome in the official Chromium Blog.
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