Google's Chrome browser will soon start giving warnings if you try to enter passwords or credit card numbers on unsecured web sites.
Prior to the world wide web, online document storage was more like a filing cabinet. Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web hit on a simple but powerful idea. Connect documents together by having embedded links. The web has since grown an is now used in ways never dreamed of before.
The web uses http protocol to transmit the information. Http is an open protocol. Anybody can read the data as is travels between points. That's why you should never enter sensitive information on an open page.
Https encrypts the data between the user and the server. That way the information is secure. If it is intercepted by a third party, then they need to decode it.
What do those icons mean?
All information sent over this connection private. It should be safe to enter your details.
Info or Not secure
Don't Panic. These site are generally safe if you are only looking and don't enter details like passwords.
If you want more details, you click on the icon in Chrome's address bar. It will list the problems it believes the site has.
The warning often means the site isn't necesarily using a private connection. There may be some parts of this site using a secure connection and others not.
Someone might be able to see the information you send through this site. We suggest that you don't enter sensitive details, like passwords or credit cards.
Warning Not secure or Dangerous
We suggest you don't enter any private or personal information on this page.
Not secure: Proceed with caution. Something is severely wrong with the privacy of this siteΓÇÖs connection. Someone might be able to see the information you send through this site.
Dangerous: Avoid this site. If you see a full-page red warning screen, the site has been flagged as unsafe by Safe Browsing. Using the site will likely put your private information at risk.