The vast majority of business is conducted over the Internet these days, much of it through browsers like Google’s Chrome. Because of this, many users require the browser they use to be secure and developers are more than happy to improve security. In recent months, however, Google has noted that they have seen an increase in malicious software that can hijack their browser. To deal with this problem, the company has recently updated Chrome with a few new security features.
This article is an overview of the two newest security features introduced in the latest Chrome update.
Feature one: Reset browser settings
Before we look into this feature, it is necessary to highlight the form of malicious software that has become one of the most commonly posted about topics on the Chrome help forums. This software is designed to take over, or hijack, a user’s browser and change settings without the user knowing, potentially allowing for more malicious software to be installed.
This software is most commonly installed by users who are tricked into thinking they need it. Usually the hacker will disguise the program as an important update to a video player like Flash, or even a security update that users are told they need to install via a pop-up window in the browser. Once installed, the software can do anything from changing your homepage to displaying more ads while you browse and can even make it so you are unable to change your browser settings.
In an effort to stop this software from fully influencing how you use Chrome, Google has introduced the ability to reset browser settings. What this does is revert all settings to the default settings when you first installed Chrome. In other words, it’s like factory resetting Chrome.
If you notice that your browser has been hijacked, or would like to start anew with a fresh version of Chrome, you can do so by:
- Opening Chrome and entering chrome://settings/ in the URL bar.
- Clicking on Show advanced settings …
- Scrolling down to the bottom of the window and clicking on Reset browser settings.
- Clicking on Reset in the window that pops up.
Follow the prompts and you should see an essentially brand new version of Chrome.
Feature two: Improved Safe Browsing
In an effort to keep the Internet as secure and safe as possible, Google blocks access to sites known to contain malware, through their Safe Browsing initiative. You may have come across a site that Chrome won’t let you access, telling you that it has been flagged. This is Safe Browsing in action.
To make this program more robust, Chrome will now automatically block downloads of known malware. When you do try to download software that has been flagged, you will see a message at the bottom of the window with the no entry sign (red circle with a white line) and a message saying ‘Filename’ is malicious and Chromium has blocked it. Clicking Dismiss will cancel the download and dismiss the message.
These security updates make browsing the Internet using Chrome safer, but not 100% so. It is a good idea to not rely on Chrome or any software to keep your systems secure. Instead, think of it as a tool, or part of an overall security plan. Combine these features with practices such as not downloading apps or programs from untrusted websites and always looking at file names before you download. Follow this advice and you should see an increase in system security.
If you are looking to learn more about how Google Chrome can be used in your office please contact us today.