.App: bringing more people online securely
A year ago, we launched .app, the first open top-level domain (TLD) with built-in security through HSTS preloading. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have registered .app domains, and we want to take a moment to celebrate them.
People are making more websites and apps than ever before. A recent survey we conducted with The Harris Poll found that nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. respondents plan to create a website in the near future. And a lot of people, especially students, are already building on the web. Over a third (34 percent) of 16-24 year olds who’ve already created a website did so for a class project.
Having a meaningful domain name helps students turn their projects into reality. Take Ludwik Trammer, creator of shrew.app, who said: “The site started as a project for my graduate Educational Technology class at Georgia Tech. Getting the perfect domain gave me the initial push to turn it into the real deal (instead of making a prototype, publishing a scientific paper on it, and forgetting it).”
Helping creators launch their sites securely
With so many new creators, it’s essential that everyone does their part to make the internet safer. That’s why Google Registry designed .app to be secure by default, meaning every website on .app requires a HTTPS connection to ensure a secure connection to the internet.
HTTPS helps keep you and your website visitors safe from bad actors, who may exploit connections that aren’t secure by:
intercepting or altering the site’s content
spying on open Wi-Fi networks
injecting ad malware or tracking
As cyber attacks increase, the security benefits a .app domain brings was a key factor. We also believe that a .app domain is more descriptive than a .com domain, meaning users can find us more easily! It was a no brainer for us switching to .app.
There's still work to be done. One out of two people don’t know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Many major browsers (like Chrome) warn users in the URL bar when content is "not secure," but there’s every website creator still has a shared responsibility to keep their users safe.
.App is year in, and we’re happy to see so many people using it to build secure websites and connect with the world. You can read more stories from .app owners here and get your own .app name at get.app. If you’re one of the millions of people planning to build a website, we hope you’ll join us in making the internet safer and take the steps to securely launch your website.