The number of encrypted websites is rising fast. Nearly 70% of Web traffic in Firefox is now on HTTPS encrypted Web pages, compared with just 50% at the beginning of 2017.
That’s a healthy development for the Internet.
With HTTPS, the information you enter into any website, like your email login or banking information, is kept more secure from attackers. It also means that anyone tracking your browsing activity can only see which website you are viewing but not which pages.
Earlier, far fewer websites used encryption and uptake was slow. Adding HTTPS was difficult and required payment to a certificate authority of up to hundreds of dollars a year.
The non-profit project Let’s Encrypt upended the status quo by developing open tools that make it easy and free for any website to encrypt. They launched in December 2015 and by June 2017, they had issued 100 million certificates through their automated system.
Percentage of HTTPS page loads in Firefox
Data source: Firefox Telemetry, Mozilla 2018
81 of the top 100 sites on the Web now use HTTPS by default. But depending on where you live, you may still be viewing far fewer encrypted sites than people elsewhere.
In some countries, governments may actively block or degrade HTTPS traffic to be able to monitor activity. In other cases, companies or organizations may lack the technical resources or know-how to implement HTTPS, or simply don’t consider it a priority.
HTTPS is gradually expanding into more geographies, but the Web still needs to become a lot more secure for everyone.
Percentage of HTTPS page loads in Firefox per country
Data source: Telemetry data for Firefox from January 20 to February 20, 2018. For privacy reasons the data does not include countries with fewer than 5,000 page loads.