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Chrome brings safety score for extensions and improved download protection

Google Chrome is bringing two new protections to its Enhanced Safe Browsing feature, which aims to make it safer for people to surf the web. Chrome extensions get a trust score, and the browser will also offer improved download protection in Chrome 91.

Google Chrome extensions are a popular tool for millions of people who use Chrome on desktop. They’re used for various reasons, from availing discounts, checking out website stats to taking notes and much more. In a bid to ensure that the consumers only use safe Chrome extensions, whenever an extension is installed, the browser will notify the user if it is a part of Google’s Enhanced Safe Browsing list.

Any extension that follows the Chrome Web Store Developer program policies will be considered safe. However, it can take up to a few months for extensions from new developers to get into the list. Google says that currently, 75% of extensions on the Chrome Web Store are trusted.

Chrome brings safety score for extensions and improved download protection

“Through our integration with Google Safe Browsing in 2020, the number of malicious extensions that Chrome disabled to protect users grew by 81%.,” the company announced on Thursday.

The improved download protection in Chrome first checks the file’s metadata, including contents and source, to determine if it’s suspicious.

Chrome brings safety score for extensions and improved download protection

If the download is considered risky by Chrome but not entirely unsafe, the consumer will be warned and can send the file for an in-depth analysis.

If the consumer sends the file to Chrome for analysis, it’ll be uploaded to Google Safe Browsing and scanned “using its static and dynamic analysis classifiers in real-time”. These files are deleted shortly thereafter.

Chrome brings safety score for extensions and improved download protection

Chrome will then notify if the file is unsafe with a warning. But, of course, consumers can bypass the warning and open the files if they want.

Chrome brings safety score for extensions and improved download protection

Chrome 92 releases in beta

The next iteration of the most popular web browser worldwide — Chrome 92 — was rolled out in beta on Thursday for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows.

The beta release showcases updates to File Handling API, App Shortcuts, CSS and Javascript, among others. You can read more about Chrome 92 on the Chromium blog.

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