Google on Tuesday announced that it will be rolling out several new security and safety tools to its Chrome browser including a redesign of privacy menu and more secure DNS. With the redesign, the company said that it has made it simple for users to find and understand privacy settings. Google has also introduced a Safety Check tool in Chrome that alerts users when a saved password on Chrome has been compromised. Additionally, Google said that the third-party cookies would be blocked on default in the Incognito mode as part of its new privacy focused update.
Privacy Controls to be More Straightforward
The company said that the redesign of the privacy controls would make it clear for users to manage cookies with Google providing users an option to block all cookies on some or all websites. Additionally, site settings that include website permissions for access to camera and location are also said to receive more spotlight.
While the third-party cookies would be blocked on default by Google, users however have an option to allow third-party cookies for specific sites by hitting an “eye” icon on the address bar. Google said that the option will be gradually rolled out to users starting with the desktop and eventually to the Android version.
Further as part of its user interface redesign, Google will move the extensions to the toolbar. The extensions will appear as a puzzle icon on the toolbar with Google promising that the redesign will enable “more control” to users. Additionally, Google has retained the option to pin the user's favourite extensions to the toolbar.
“It’s a neat way to tidy up your toolbar, and gives you more control over what data extensions can access on sites you visit,” Google said.
Safety Check Tool and More Secure DNS to Arrive on Chrome
Google said that the Safety Check tool will warn users if Google’s Safe Browsing feature is turned off. The Safety Check tool would also tip users if malicious extensions are installed and if Chrome is updated to the latest version.
As part of the security updates, Google is introducing Enhanced Safe Browsing that would aid users with custom protections from phishing, malware or other web based threats. When a user opts in to Enhanced Safe Browsing, Google in real time will check whether the webpages or downloads of the user are dangerous by sending the information to Google Safe Browsing. Further, when a user is signed into Chrome and other Google Apps, the tool would guard users from a range of threats that the user encounters on the web along with attacks on Google accounts.
It has to be noted that opting into the Enhanced Safe Browsing mode would require the user to share real time data with Google. The company hasn’t specified the quantity of the data that would be anonymised.
Additionally, Google is also enabling Secure DNS, a DNS-over-HTTPS feature that converts the URL of the website from a readable format to an encrypted format. Google said that the Secure DNS feature will be enabled on the browser only if the user’s internet service provider supports the feature. Google said that the user can then switch to a different DNS provider or disable the feature altogether.
Mozilla in February enabled the DNS-over-HTTPS option on Firefox with the company providing users an option to select between Cloudfare and NextDNS.
Google said that new features along with the redesigned privacy and security user interface will be rolled out to users in “upcoming weeks.”
“We’ll continue to focus on features that protect your privacy and security as you’re browsing the web with Chrome, in addition to giving you clear and useful choices around managing your data,” Google said.
In the second week of May, Google introduced the tab grouping feature that enabled users to organize tabs on Chrome. The company enabled users to select a tab and provide a custom label and color to it. Upon grouping the tabs together, users can move and reorder them. The update was initially made available to the Beta users on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac and Linux.