As part of its security features, web browser Google Chrome uses a special set of symbols that alerts users to a website's validity. Shown in the left corner of the address bar, these icons provide vital information about a site's certificates and connections. In this article, you will learn about the different security indicators offered by Google Chrome.
How to check Chrome's connection to a site?
In short, the different padlocks and icons shown next to the URL bar on Google Chrome let you know whether a site uses TLS or SSL certificates. These certificates allow you to distinguish between a valid and invalid sites.
- Green Lock Icon
The green padlock indicates that a webpage connection is secure. This means that a website's identity has been verified by a trusted third-party authority and has a valid certificate for the URL you're trying to reach.
Site certificates are produced by any website that requires some authentication (such as a username and password) to access a page's full services. An easy way to tell if a site is secure is to check its URL — encrypted sites (those that use SSL) will usually begin with https, while non-encrypted sites use an HTTP URL.
If you'd like to access additional information about the sites that you visit, you can click on the icon and hit the Connection tab:
- Yellow Exclamation Point
A yellow exclamation mark indicates that the website has not provided the browser with a certificate. This is normal for regular HTTP sites, as certificates are only usually provided if the site uses SSL.
- Blank Page Icon
Any "normal" http websites, will be shown with a blank page icon displayed before it. These pages can be accessed without prior authentication.
- Lock Icon with Yellow Triangle
A lock icon with a yellow triangle indicates that Chrome can see a site's certificate but that the site has weak security. In this case, we recommend you proceed cautiously, as your connection may not be private.
- Red Padlock Icon
If you see a red padlock with an x next to a URL, this is an indication of problems with a site's certificate. Exercise extreme caution when proceeding onto the site — refrain from entering personal data or sensitive information. It is likely that somebody is trying to impersonate the requested website in order to capture your information.