Updated: 3 days ago
The lock icon is out, the “tune” icon is in: Google Chrome’s new security-neutral indicator in the address bar
Google has revealed that it will change the lock icon, which was meant to show the security of a website, in the address bar of Chrome with a new “tune” icon. The new icon will not suggest that a site is safe or reliable.
The lock icon was initially used to indicate that a website was encrypting connections with HTTPS. This implied that the connection between the user’s browser and the website was secure and could not be hacked or altered.
This is not true anymore as most websites nowadays use the HTTPS protocol, including phishing websites, and therefore the lock icon does not represent the website’s credibility, Google explained in a blog post. The icon also allows users to access permission controls and more security information easily, Google said.
“Replacing the lock icon with a neutral indicator avoids the confusion that the lock icon is related to the trustworthiness of a page, and highlights that security should be the normal state in Chrome”, Google said.
The icon is planned to be released as part of a general design update for desktop platforms, expected in early September. The lock icon will also be changed on Android. Chrome will keep warning users when their connection is not secure and will keep labeling plaintext HTTP as insecure.