Google is enhancing protection in Chrome Enhanced Safe Browsing mode, which the company rolled out in 2020 to add an extra layer of security. It will add new features centered around extensions and downloads.
If you’ve turned on Enhanced Safe Browsing and are about to install a Chrome Web Store extension that is not part of a trusted list, you will see a popup informing you of this. Currently, around 75 per cent of the expansions are considered trusted. In order to be awarded their extensions as such, developers must adhere to the Chrome Web Store Developer Guidelines. New developers must adhere to the rules for at least a few months before they are considered reliable.
If you see the dialog, it does not necessarily mean that the extension you are about to install is not safe, but it is worth exercising caution, in case it is.
In addition, Enhanced Safe Browsing will have increased protection against malicious downloads. Each time you download a file, Chrome first uses Google Safe Browsing analytics to determine if it might be suspicious. If Safe Browsing believes that a file is risky, but not obviously insecure, you will see a warning if you have Enhanced Safe Browsing enabled. It will ask if you want to scan the file for a more detailed analysis.
Chrome can then upload the file, and once it has been scanned, you will see another warning if Safe Browsing thinks it is unsafe. You will still be able to bypass the warning and open the file, but it will be at your own risk. All files uploaded to Safe Browsing are deleted shortly after they are scanned.
Google says it will roll out these features starting with Chrome 91, the current stable version of the browser. As such, they should soon arrive Enhanced Safe Browsing.
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