If you use Google's Chrome browser, you're going to start seeing a lot of red X's pretty soon, and that's a good thing. Google is vowing to make you more aware of when you're visiting a website that's not secure.
The ominous red X isn't going to be plastered over just the sites you'd guess would be inappropriate, like pornography sites, or the ones that obviously pose an Internet security risk. Even some of the most-trusted sites on the Internet, like the New York Times, will be marked with a red X. (See photo below.)
It's all part of Google's aggressive and admirable attempt to push Web publishers to switch from using the HTTP, hypertext transfer protocol, which are used in website URLs, like http://www.nytimes.com, to the more secure HTTPS, hypertext transfer protocol secure.
Sites using HTTPS use encryption to keep online users like you protected from cyberspies. These sites are also verified by third-party certificate authorities.
Google hasn't said when it will implement this change, although it hinted at a recent cybersecurity conference that it will be soon. Keep reading Happening Now for updates on Chrome's unsecured site warnings.
In the meantime, you can see how Chrome's red X's will look. Here's how:
If you use Google Chrome, where you type in website addresses, type "Chrome://flags/." Then, look for an experiment titled "Mark non-secure origins as non-secure" (about three-quarters of the way down the page). Click on the down arrow, choose "Mark non-secure origins as non-secure."
Note: When you're done, click on the Reset All To Default tab at the top right-hand corner of the page.