Google to warn users about disappearing Chrome extensions

Google Chrome's upcoming update introduces a proactive alert system, offering insights into disappearing extensions and bolstering user security. The "Safety check" feature will inform users about extensions removed by developers, policy violations, and malware designations.

| Updated on: Aug 17 2023, 12:58 IST
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Google Chrome's upcoming feature to give insights on disappearing extensions and enhance security with automatic URL upgrades and high-risk file download warnings. (Unsplash)

In the forthcoming Chrome update, users will gain insight into the vanishing of extensions through a novel proactive alert system. According to an announcement by Oliver Dunk, a developer relations engineer for Chrome extensions, Google is introducing this feature in Chrome 117. The purpose behind this innovation is to enhance users' awareness regarding the removal of extensions, whether it was due to developer actions, policy violations on the Chrome Web Store, or malware designations.

Enhanced Awareness with Proactive Alerts

The forthcoming addition will introduce a dedicated "Safety check" segment within Chrome's privacy and security settings. Extensions falling into the aforementioned categories will be displayed here. By clicking on the "Review" option, users will be directed to their extension list, where they can make an informed decision, according to a Verge report. They will have the option to either uninstall the extension or dismiss the warning, permitting the continued use of the extension. It's important to note that, just as in previous iterations of Chrome, extensions labeled as malware will be automatically deactivated.

A Secure Transition: HTTP to HTTPS

However, this isn't the only security-oriented enhancement on Google's agenda for Chrome. The company is also set to elevate security measures by automatically transitioning all http:// URLs to their more secure counterpart, https://, according to a blog post. This protocol encrypts online traffic, bolstering overall security. Interestingly, even if a link explicitly specifies an http:// connection, Chrome will initiate the upgrade. In cases where this transition is unsuccessful, Chrome will revert to the traditional http:// link. This feature is currently being trialed in Chrome 115, with the aim of incorporating it in upcoming releases, following thorough testing.

Moreover, Google's commitment to user security extends to the realm of file downloads. Chrome will soon incorporate a warning mechanism for instances where users attempt to download "high-risk files" over an insecure connection. These warning notifications are slated to debut in mid-September. A preview image shared by Google provides a glimpse of how these warnings will be presented.

In conclusion, Chrome's imminent update will equip users with a proactive alert system to elucidate the disappearance of extensions. This security-conscious approach aligns with Google's broader goals of enhancing user awareness and securing online interactions.

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First Published Date: 17 Aug, 12:58 IST