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Microsoft will encrypt Bing search traffic by default

Microsoft will encrypt Bing search traffic by default


Microsoft joins Google and Yahoo in the encryption-by-default club

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Using Bing is going to be a little bit more secure this summer, with Microsoft encrypting traffic on its search engine by default. The company has been offering encrypted search as an option for about a year and a half now, but is finally making the feature standard for all users. This brings Bing's security features into line with both Google and Yahoo, which introduced encryption-as-standard for users in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Encryption by default means safer searches

Microsoft notes that it will continue to include referrer strings in searches letting webmasters know that a particular visitor to their site came from Bing, but those actual query terms will no longer be passed on. Marketers will still be able to get hold of information like aggregated keywords and ranking data via Bing's advertiser tools, but Microsoft says this information is made available "without compromising the security of [customers]."

For Bing skeptics this news might not seem too noteworthy, but Microsoft's search engine shouldn't be ignored. Although its presence in markets like Europe is negligible, Bing's popularity has been growing (very) slowly in the US, where it now accounts for more than 20 percent of the market — and it's the default search engine for Siri.