In the spirit of keeping you and your data as safe as possible, Google is introducing an encrypted version of its search engine today. This is in line with our report last week that such a product was soon to be released.
According to the Google announcement:
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.
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You can access the new encrypted search by adding an “s” to your URL bar in your browser after the “http”. Or more simply, just head here to give it a try. It is not available at the moment for everyone.
Google points out that while this new form of search is more secure, it is slower, and will thus not be rolled out into the normal Google.com experience for some time. Also, note that SSL ( the form of encryption that Google is employing) does not imply that any different amount of information is sent to Google, this encryption merely keeps snooping third parties from prying into your activities without your permission.
The company previously built similar encryption into Gmail following the Chinese hacking incident. The encrypted search is beta, and Google warns that your experience while using it might be slightly restrictive. As this new encryption only applies to vanilla search, Google has pulled links to things that you cannot use while encrypted, such as Google Maps.
Even limited at is, it is a good step towards a more secure online experience. Google is taking the correct steps to craft the safest future that it can for its hundreds of millions of users.