When you use apps on your phone, have you ever thought if your network traffic can be viewed by a third party? The traffic encryption technology such as HTTPS is something we need for securing our privacy. As you are reading this blog, you should see a lock icon near the address bar. This lock icon indicates that the website is using HTTPS to encrypt the website connection. HTTPS is the secure version of the standard “hypertext transfer protocol” web browser uses when communicating with websites. Even though it was designed for passwords and other sensitive data, experts find this protocol necessary to encrypting web traffic. HTTP is now left behind and it is recommended for all websites to switch to HTTPS.
Nowadays, network traffic in 80% of Android apps are encrypted via HTTPS because of Google’s broader adoption of HTTPS standard. So that the traffic regarding either entering or leaving these apps would be protected from third parties. In addition, this percentage may be increased in the coming years as expected by Google. Compared to Apple, Google performs better on enforcing HTTPS standard on its app development as there are only a third of iOS apps encrypted their traffic with ATS. ATS is a technology used for iOS app’s network traffic encryption, like HTTPS in Android apps.
Google started to improve the security in the Android apps they developed by rolling out the HTTPS feature Network Security Configuration since 2016. By October 2019, Google finally makes up to 80% of all Android apps and 90% of all Android 9 apps encrypted with HTTPS by default. Other than Android apps, Google also applies more HTTPS usage inside Chrome. In Google’s Transparency Report, they state that HTTPS usage within Chrome is now around 85% to 95%. HTTPS is much more secure than HTTP since it will automatically check the website’s security certificate and verify if it was issued by a legitimate certificate authority.
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