You may have noticed a tiny addition to our website over the past few weeks. Look at the address bar in your web browser. See that small padlock icon preceding our URL, That’s no emoji or ornamentation. Rather, that little lock reflects a substantial change under the hood of our site.

We’re now on HTTPS, a security standard that's a big deal in tech circles, as well as for our users’ peace of mind in an age of phishing attempts and malware.

HTTPS ensures you’re communicating directly with The Texas Tribune’s site and not an imposter. All traffic between your computer or smartphone and our web server is encrypted. In other words, no one can read or tamper with the information going back and forth. Whether you’re commenting on our site, signing up for one of our newsletters or joining the Tribune to support our work, you can take comfort in the fact that any information you share with our site is secure.

We've enabled HTTPS on all our sites — more than 20 total — including TribTalk, our Government Salaries Explorer, the Texas Public Schools Explorer and more.

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For the technically savvy among our readers, HTTPS may be familiar. Wired, The Washington Post and others have written about it, and all major publishers will have to adopt HTTPS before long. But we can’t help but brag a little because we’re early to the game on this enhanced security standard.

Preparing for HTTPS involved six months of changing code, fixing links in old content and even switching some of the providers we use. There are still some small issues to work out (for example, if we link to a photo or video on another site that doesn’t support HTTPS, you may receive a warning from your browser).

As with a lot of our behind-the-scenes changes, we hope the transition has been unnoticeable to our readers, but if you encounter hiccups, please tell us. In the meantime, enjoy secure browsing on the Trib!