Not so long ago, Google released an update for its Chrome browser, which removed the lock icon (HTTPS indicator) in the address bar. Now Microsoft decided to adopt the change.
The reasoning behind the change is that some users may incorrectly assume the HTTPS indicator means a website is safe overall. In reality, a website may use the encrypted connection (thus displaying the lock icon in the address bar) and be harmful or malicious at the same time. To solve the issue of misunderstanding icons in a browser, Google, and now Microsoft, replaced the lock icon with an arrow-down button.
The latest versions of Microsoft Edge Canary no longer display the lock icon when a website uses the encrypted HTTPS connection. Instead, users can click the arrow-down button to display additional information about the website, connection type, cookies, tracking prevention, and permissions.
It appears that Microsoft is currently experimenting with updated indicators in the address bar. They are available for a subset of Edge insiders in the Canary channel before the public rollout, similar to how Google tested the same change in Chrome in July.
Google's findings show that only 11% of surveyed Chrome users could correctly explain the meaning of the lock icon in Omnibar. That means such a simple change can make a big difference for those less fluent in understanding how browser technologies work. It is good to see Microsoft supporting that initiative.
In case you missed it, Microsoft recently updated the website information flyout in Edge. The interface can now display additional information about a website, its launch date, owners, links to social media, and more. Edge uses Microsoft Bing to pull data about your websites, further improving the user experience and providing you with one more way to detect fake and malicious websites.
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