Chrome 91 to Bring Risky Extensions, File Download Warnings

Google is working on rolling out a bunch of new protections for Enhanced Safe Browsing users on Chrome. Enhanced Safe Browsing was launched in 2020 with the aim to allow users to browse safely on the Web. This feature is available in Chrome security settings and can be toggled on at any time. Google says users who have Enhanced Safe Browsing enabled have been “successfully phished 35 percent less than other users.” With the new Chrome 91 update, Google will roll out new features to help Enhanced Safe Browsing users better choose their extensions, as well as offer additional protections against downloading malicious files on the Web.

In a new blog post, Google says that Enhanced Safe Browsing on Chrome will now offer additional protection when you install a new extension from the Chrome Web Store. If you install an unsafe extension or one that is not a part of the list of extensions trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing, Chrome will show a dialogue box to inform you about it. Google says that any extensions built using the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies will be considered trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing.

“For new developers, it will take at least a few months of respecting these conditions to become trusted. Eventually, we strive for all developers with compliant extensions to reach this status upon meeting these criteria,” the company explains.

Additionally, Enhanced Safe Browsing will strive to offer better protection against downloading risky files. Google will perform a check on every file that is downloaded on Chrome and offer a warning if it is deemed to be risky. Chrome performs a first-level check with Google Safe Browsing using metadata about the downloaded file, such as the digest of the contents and the source of the file, to determine whether it’s potentially suspicious. The warning will come with the ability to scan the file further for a more in-depth analysis. If this scan proves that the file is dangerous, then users can choose to discard it. Of course, these warnings can be bypassed and a user can open files without scanning as well.

It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to [email protected].

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