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An AudlemOnline reader has spotted that the Google Chrome browser has started to put an alert "not secure" message when web pages that use passwords are used without a thing called an SSL certificate.

This uses an encrypted communication and is much more difficult to hack (in fact probably impossible unless you are the CIA, Russian or Alan Turing). Most if not all bank websites have been using SSL for a while and it is gradually becoming an industry standard.

In practice the security threat to AudlemOnline users is very low — the information sent, even with passwords, is hardly going to cause major problems even if it were hacked. Even without the SSL encryption it is not easy to hack into the messages and the benefit that a hacker would get from doing so would simply not be worth the effort.

ThenMedia, the Audlem-based company that is the technical brains of AudlemOnline, are working on using SSL for all their websites as a matter of good practice — as usual it is not as simple as it sounds, but it should be implemented soon. When this happens, the website address at the top of the browser page will show "https:" rather that "http:" at the start.

Thanks to William Biggar for drawing this to our attention.

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