Nearly half of all websites now support HTTPS, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. That’s a jump of more than 10 percentage points since last year.
Meanwhile, a February survey of the world's top one million most-visited websites revealed 20% of them now offer HTTPS, compared to around 14% in August 2016.
Popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and many others now offer HTTPS by default, and Google gives websites that use HTTPS preference in search results over those that don't.
Security is the primary benefit of HTTPS. TLS certificates scramble data as it's sent across the internet and on websites. As the EFF notes, this means websites are safe from eavesdropping, content hijacking, cookie stealing and censorship.
Despite the advantages, companies have balked at some of the drawbacks of implementing the technology, including costs, slower response times and complex processes.
But today, the majority of those issues have been resolved and it is becoming easier for companies to implement HTTPS security measures. The push to increase HTTPS encryption was aided last year in part by secure certificate program Let’s Encrypt, which offers free HTTPS certificates, as well as some content delivery networks and cloud services providers like CloudFlare and Amazon that now offer their customers free TLS certificates.