Google Chrome will save you from dicey downloads from suspicious HTTP links

Google Chrome is planning to roll out a feature to block insecure HTTP downloads. Know all details here.

| Updated on: Dec 31 2022, 11:16 IST
In Pics: Know 5 ways to stay safe online on Google Chrome
Google Chrome
1/5 Keep strong password: Using a password manager (even if it’s not Google’s) will help you store and use a strong, unique password for each site you log into. Google Password Manager can suggest and save a strong, unique password of gobbledygook (like KZamPPzj43T9mQM). Then, Chrome will autofill the password next time you need it — on any device. Chrome should suggest a new strong password when creating a new account, or you can always right click in the password field and click “Suggest Password.” (Pixabay)
Google Chrome
2/5 Keep updating Google Chrome: Like every other application, security engineers work to keep Chrome safe against the latest threats, by working on updates and improvements. And these updates and improvements come out at least every two weeks. Chrome checks for updates regularly, and when one is available, Chrome downloads it immediately and then applies it when you close and reopen the browser. But if you haven’t closed your browser in a while, you may have a pending update visible in the upper right corner of the browser window. To apply the update, click “Update” or simply close and reopen Chrome. (REUTERS)
Google Chrome
3/5 Keep note of Chrome's download warnings: Chrome warns its users about dangerous downloads when possible. When you see a download warning, you can still download the file, but it is recommended not to do so. Computers are often compromised by malware because people misunderstand or ignore warnings. (Pixabay)
Google Chrome
4/5 Use 2-step verification: Two-factor authentication can use your phone to add an extra step to verify that it's you when you sign in. Signing in with both a password and a second step on your phone protects against password-stealing scams. If you sign into Chrome with a Google Account, be sure that you’re enrolled in 2-step verification to protect your account. (Unsplash)
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5/5 Use the browser with Enhanced security protection: To be even more secure while browsing the web in Chrome, turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing protection in your Chrome settings. It substantially increases protection from dangerous websites and downloads by sharing real-time data with Safe Browsing. If you’re signed in, Chrome and other Google apps you use (Gmail, Drive, etc) will be able to provide improved protection based on a holistic view of threats you encounter on the web and attacks against your Google Account, according to the blog post. (Pixabay)
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The upcoming feature of Google Chrome to block insecure HTTP downloads may arrive with Chrome 111 in 2023. (Pexels)

Google is preparing to launch a new feature that will protect you from insecure HTTP downloads. You must have noticed that when you visit any HTTP website, Google Chrome marks it as “not secure” in the address bar on your Android smartphone. Now, Google is preparing to bring a security option that will block any “insecure” downloads that you may want to try through HTTP websites, 9to5Google reported. Notably, over the last couple of years, Google has been trying to make Chrome browser secure by encouraging users to use only HTTPS websites whenever possible.

One of the most notable steps that Google took was to mark any HTTP website as “Not Secure” in the address bar. Not just that, Chrome also blocks secure websites from using insecure web forms by default. Even recently, Google has created a new toggle option under Settings to “Always use secure connections.” Once you enable this feature, Chrome will attempt to “upgrade” to the HTTPS version of websites, in case you accidentally navigate to the insecure version. Moreover, in the absence of a secure version, Chrome will show you an on-screen warning while asking if you would like to continue.

The report further explains that now Google is planning to expand this feature to protect Chrome users from any and all potentially insecure HTTP downloads. This will take a yet another step well above the current security settings by blocking downloads from any connection associated with an insecure website. Suppose, you click on an HTTPS download link that takes you to an insecure HTTP server, then Google Chrome security feature will block the download as unsafe, the report explained.

However, it must be noted that the feature is still in the development stage. 9to5Google report says that it is not likely to arrive for broader testing until Chrome 111, which will be released in March 2023. Hence, the final version of the feature may arrive well into 2023.

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First Published Date: 31 Dec, 11:14 IST
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