Google has just launched a new feature that will make your search more secure than ever before! With Google’s new encrypted search page (currently in beta), searchers will have the ability to search on a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) page at all time ensuring that their search terms and google result pages are completely secure from network intercepts & hacking attempts.
Google has this feature already built inside Google Mail (Gmail) and Google docs but this is the first time they are introducing this in their main search platform. Anybody can try out the Google secure encrypted search by going to: https://google.com (yes, don’t forget the ‘s’ after http). Once you add the Https before the regular Google URL, both your search terms and search results will be encrypted as they travel across networks. This makes it much harder for third-parties to intercept them.
“When you search on https://www.google.com, an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network. The service includes a modified logo to help indicate that you’re searching using SSL and that you may encounter a somewhat different Google search experience, but as always, remember to check the start of the address bar for “https” and your browser lock indicators..”
Google’s Secure search feature is still in Beta. They pointed out that they aren’t changing the default to ‘secure’ because of the following reasons:
- Confusion: People might think that other pages which aren’t SSL enabled are not secured. But this isn’t necessarily true.
- Speed: There is a minor speed issue when they add an extra layer of security (encryption) over top of the existing data. However I played with it for a while and I didn’t notice any significant difference in speed.
- Cross product security: Not all other google products which are linked from the search page (e.g. Google Images, Google Maps) are SSL enabled. Thus even if you use the SSL enabled page for your first search, you might eventually end up in a non-ssl page
Google highlights that using the secure page doesn’t necessarily mean that your ‘search queries’ and your information aren’t stored by Google. The Secure Google page only prevents unauthorized individuals to intercept your queries/data on a network level.
Personally I don’t really see a use for this for normal users. However government, big enterprises might actually find this quite useful. An individual’s search history can tell a lot about that person. And if that person is a key individual of a big corporation or government, the security of that data is really essential.
So test this out and let me know in the comments if you see any significant ‘speed difference’. Is it slower than the regular Google search?
Try it out right now, go to: https://google.com.