Google’s SSL Search is now available in Beta. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that helps provide secure Internet communications for services like web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers. When you search over SSL, your search queries and search traffic are encrypted so they can’t be read by any intermediary party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.
Things to know about Google SSL Search:
- SSL encrypts the communication channel between Google and a searcher’s computer.
- SSL search turns off a browser’s referrers.
- Only web searches are currently supported by Google SSL, searches for images and maps are not supported at this time. Integrated results like images and maps will show up in the search and clicking those results will take you out of encrypted search mode. In fact, any time you select a destination link that is not https:// you could be exiting the encrypted mode.
- Using SSL search might be slightly slower than you’re used to because your computer needs to first establish a secure connection with Google.
You can learn more about Google SSL on their information page.