Google has allowed users to perform a “Secure Search” option where their search-engine transactions are encrypted between the Google servers and their computer. This can be either facilitated through the user typing https://www.google.com or setting it as a default for their Google services account.
Obviously this feature is intended to provide a private secure-search sessions over open networks like Wi-Fi hotspots that are set up in the common open manner. But this also has a side benefit where destination Web sites don’t know what search terms are passed to them, thus making it harder to tune search search listings without the use of tools like Google Analytics.
The key obvious benefit is to stop the appearance of “poisoned” search listings that lead users to “scareware”. These are Trojan Horses which appear to be legitimate system utilities but are intended to separate the user from their money by spruiking horrendous system conditions to the user. Of course, I have had to deal with this menace by removing these programs from various friends’ computers.
The only limitation with this setup is that it only applies by default for people who are currently logged in to a Google service of some form like GMail. For users who share computers, they would have to start a Google-services session then head to the Google.com Website to start searching; or simply remember to type the https prefix. This can be achieved through the Google bookmark, favourite item or Intranet page hyperlink pointing to https://www.google.com .
At least this is another Web security item that offers more than is typically highlighted.