Business News/ News / India/  Chrome browser for desktop gets new privacy, security features

NEW DELHI: Strengthening security around browser clients and apps has been a huge focus area among browser companies. After Mozilla and Opera, Google too has made several changes in its Chrome browser to enhance user privacy and security.

The latest edition of Chrome browser for desktop blocks third-party cookies in incognito mode by default, offers easy to find privacy controls and provides additional protection against phishing and malware.

Chrome continues to be the leading browser on desktop with 68.06% market share. Every other browser, be it Firefox (8.21%), Safari (3.66%), Edge (6.44%), and Opera (1.35%) trails by a huge margin, according to April figures put out by Netmarketshare.

The two new features launched with the new version of Chrome include enhanced safe browsing and secure DNS. Enhanced safe browsing proactively checks web pages and downloads to ensure they are not dangerous by sending information about them to Google Safe Browsing. The feature will be upgraded next year to include warnings for phishing sites and file downloads, and cross-product alerts.

Secure DNS (domain name system) uses DNS-over-HTTPS to encrypt the process called DNS lookup through which a browser determines which server is hosting the website. Google says this will prevent attackers from tracking sites visited by users in addition to stopping them from sending them to phishing websites to steal user information.

Among existing features, managing cookies in regular and incognito mode will be a lot easier now. Users can decide how websites can use cookies and can even block them completely. In line with the objective of making these tools more easily accessible and understandable, Chrome will now show an option named “You and Google" on top of Settings. It can be used to sync controls across devices so the privacy settings are applied on other devices too.

The Safety Check feature will now warn users if any of the passwords that the user has asked Chrome to remember has been compromised online. Similarly, it will alert users if Safe Browsing is not enabled, in addition to identifying malicious extensions and helping users get rid of them.

Further, the incognito mode gets new protections as well. It will now block all third-party cookies by default within each session. This feature will gradually roll out and will be available on Android as well. Rest of the features will be rolling out in the next few weeks, Google announced.

Abhijit Ahaskar
Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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Updated: 20 May 2020, 05:30 PM IST
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