Published: September 13, 2021 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
We are always on the edge of our seats to see what new privacy and security settings Google comes up with for its massively used Chrome browsers. Perhaps we are not on the edge of our seats, but there are some reportedly cool new features of version 92, that is already available. And while features are not normally what we recommend for downloading new versions of anything, some of these new ones for Chrome cross over into security. So, take note and see what’s new. These are only available after you update your Chrome, so do that first.
Specifically for iPhone users
Those using Chrome for their iPhone or iPad can now lock incognito tabs and unlock them using face ID. Why would you care? If you happen to walk away and leave your device unlocked, which is not recommended, whatever was in those tabs is locked until you show back up, as long as you closed the Chrome app. So, if you have your banking window open, it’s secured until you get back. This is only available for those who have devices using FaceID. If you haven’t upgraded from your iPhone 7, for example, this doesn’t work for you.
To find this, open the Chrome browser, click the three little dots at the bottom of the screen. Choose “Settings,” then “Privacy,” then enable the “Lock Incognito tabs” option.
When using the browser on a computer
Phishing is an absolute plague on society right now and there is no reason to believe that will slow down with the success attacks have seen. The use of lookalike domains had has made phishing scams incredibly more successful. To help in this fight, Chrome 92 detects and blocks phishing attempts 50 times faster and to make it even better, it uses less battery.
Chrome uses its image processing capabilities to identify potential websites by comparing the color scemes of common phishing websites to the page being loaded. If it finds them to be similar, Chrome shows you a warning within milliseconds.
Google has also allowed the user to control sites that use certain features of the device, such as the camera and microphone. To get to this, click the lock icon on the website (assuming it’s there and if it isn’t, you should close the tab). You should see a list of features for hardware you have given access to for the site. You can easily toggle those on and off. For example, for Zoom, you may see you gave permission for the camera and microphone, but not location. Zoom doesn’t need to know that. However, for maps, you may want it to know your location, so that would be toggled on.
Other issues patched while they are at it
While they were at it, Google also patched 35 security flaws in previous versions and nine of them were considered high severity. So, get to it now and update your Google Chrome. You can find it under the Chrome > About Google Chrome option in your browser. There, it should tell you what version you have and give you the choice to check for updates or “Automatically update Chrome for all users.” We recommend you enable that for the most up-to-date security.
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