Number of the day December 16, 2015 12:59 PM




number of people who may not be able to browse the internet safely after January 1st





If a planned security certificate update goes through as scheduled on January 1st, 40 million people may lose the ability to browse the internet safely.

CA/Browser Forum, the industry group that sets encryption policy, says that the current encryption certificate standard known as SHA-1 is no longer safe and they will cease issuing the certificates to sites like Facebook, Google and online banks. The plan is to switch to the new standard SHA-2 by the beginning of the new year.

The problem is that devices that are more than 5 years old and use older browser technology will not be able to use SHA-2 which could leave up to 7% of users in the developing world behind.

Facebook has proposed a solution of switching between the two certificates if someone's device is too old but that would require all of the major companies involved to agree across the board.

Read more: Buzzfeed