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Many of Australian's Government Websites Still Aren't Secure

With growing concerns over online threats like cybercrime and cyber terrorism, the world's biggest and most prolific search engine – Google – recently updated their Chrome web browser to highlight websites that aren't secure. Now marked with an unavoidable label saying "not sure," these sites could always be differentiated by their lack of the HTTPS prefix. The "S," in this case, stands for "Secure."

But it took a trained eye to spot this and, in some cases, even the professionals would unknowingly connect to an insecure website. For novice users and those who are new to the Internet, it's easy to see how their personal information could be stolen or their entire system compromised. Unfortunately, it's a not a problem that's going away anytime soon.

Scrutinizing Insecure Websites

Making matters worse is the fact that, according to a recent report, many of these insecure sites exist at the government level. The report, which was published by Troy Hunt and Scott Helme, highlighted a number of governmental websites – primarily in Australia – that have failed to utilize the HTTPS protocol.

Hunt stated his surprise in a recent blog post by stating, in part: ''"After all the advanced warnings combined with all we know to be bad about serving even static sites over HTTP, what sort of sites are left that are neglecting such a fundamental security and privacy basic? I wanted to find out which is why today, in conjunction with Scott Helme, we're launching Why No HTTPS?"''

It's important to note that many of the companies listed in the original report, including such names as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Department of Health, and the Department of Home Affairs and Immigration, have since transitioned over to the HTTPS protocol.

Another important piece of information is the fact that it's surprisingly difficult to revolve a domain name to its country of origin. While many are easy enough, it's the shadiest and most unscrupulous sites that make it challenging – and those are the exact sites that are most likely to be malicious in nature.

While we're certainly making steps in the right direction, many governmental sites have yet to make the change. Moreover, Australia isn't alone – many other businesses around the globe are still using the insecure HTTP protocol.

Some of the named companies include:

• (Australia)
• (China)
• (China)
• (United States)
• (United States)
• (Vietnam)
• (Australia)
As you can see, the problem certainly isn't limited to one region or another. Remember, the sites listed above are currently using the insecure HTTP protocol – so visit them at your own risk.

Can you think of any popular websites that are still using the HTTP protocol? If so, where are they located? Even more importantly, is your personal information safe when using their website? Answering questions like this can help you stay vigilant and keep your system – and your personal information – safe in the 21st century.

For more information on Hunt and Helme's new endeavor, Why No HTTPS?, head over to their official website at {{|}}.


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