The lock icon that appears in the address bar of web browsers has long been associated with safety and security for internet users. However, Google has recently announced that it will be replacing the lock icon with a new icon in its Chrome browser. The new icon will not imply trustworthiness and will be more user-friendly, as part of Google’s efforts to improve the security and accessibility of its browser. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this change, what the new icon will look like, and when users can expect to see it in their Chrome browser.
Google Replacing Lock Icon in Chrome’s Address Bar: What It Means for Users
Google has announced that it will be removing the lock icon from the address bar of its Chrome browser and replacing it with a new icon that will not imply trustworthiness. This move is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to improve the security of its browser and make it more user-friendly.
What is the lock icon and why is it being replaced?
The lock icon has traditionally been used to indicate that a website is secure and that any data entered on that site will be encrypted. However, according to Google, this no longer holds true as HTTPS has become the norm rather than the exception. The company believes that the lock icon is a remnant of an era where HTTPS was uncommon and has now become a source of confusion for users.
Why is the new icon needed?
Google’s research has shown that only 11% of study participants correctly understood the precise meaning of the lock icon. This misunderstanding is not harmless as nearly all phishing sites use HTTPS, and therefore also display the lock icon. Google hopes that replacing the lock icon with a neutral indicator will help prevent this misunderstanding and emphasize that security should be the default state in Chrome.
What is the new icon?
The new icon will be a variant of the tune icon commonly associated with settings or other controls. It will be more clickable and will not imply trustworthiness. The new icon will also help make permission controls and additional security information more accessible to users.
When will the new icon be introduced?
The new icon will start rolling out with Chrome 117, which is expected to release in early September 2023. This will be part of a general design refresh for desktop platforms.
Google’s decision to replace the lock icon with a new, more user-friendly icon is a positive step towards improving the security of its browser and making it more accessible to users. While this change may take some time for users to get used to, it is ultimately a move in the right direction towards a safer and more secure browsing experience.