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How the latest Chrome browser update may make forms appear malicious

Date: 27 October 2017

Google has begun rolling out version 62 of Chrome, the browser software that currently has close to 60% market share. Users will receive the new update over the coming weeks. In addition to the usual under-the-hood tweaks and improvements, Chrome 62 contains one important update which may change the way visitors perceive forms on landing pages and microsites hosted by your marketing automation platform.

Chrome 62 will display a “Not Secure” warning next to the address bar when visitors fill out forms on HTTP landing pages. Chrome will not prevent visitors from submitting forms on these pages, but the warning may well discourage visitors from providing their personal information.

Chrome 62 warns visitors that pages are not secure
Chrome 62 warns visitors that pages with forms are not secure

This is being done by Google to make users aware the data they are submitting is vulnerable to interception by a third party, and to encourage marketers to move their pages to the more secure HTTPS standard.

What does this mean for me?

If the forms you use for Marketing are hosted on your corporate website, this change will likely not affect you; odds are your website is already hosted using HTTPS. You can verify this by visiting your company’s site and looking at the address bar in your browser. If you see a green lock icon, you’re covered.

However, if you have forms on pages hosted by your marketing automation platform, they may well be HTTP pages. Most automation platforms don’t include HTTPS encryption out of the box, although it is usually available as an add-on.

What do I need to do?

The recommended option is to migrate your landing pages to HTTPS. Most marketing automation providers support secure sites and will be able to walk you through the process of purchasing the required HTTPS certificate and deploying it on your pages.

Securing your pages with HTTPS is good practice. In addition to reassuring your visitors their personal information will not be compromised, securing your site with HTTPS can also help increase your Google search ranking. Google is known to have taken the use of secure connections into account when determining search rankings in the past, and as they start encouraging the use of HTTPS more strongly, it will likely be given a heavier weight in the future.