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The New Privacy Features of Google Chrome 92

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As the most popular web browser in the world, Google Chrome needs to keep up its security standards by providing constant updates. The release of Google Chrome 92 a few months ago includes many new privacy features that are designed to keep you safer online. Subsequent Chrome updates will include these features as well.

If you’re not already using Chrome, these features may persuade you to switch over from Edge, Safari, or whatever browser you’re using. If you are a dedicated Chrome user, you’ll want to become familiar with these new features so you can protect your privacy as you work and play online.

Android fans will be particularly impressed with this update because it was created with them in mind. Before Chrome 92, Android users had a difficult time granting permissions to specific websites while withholding information from others. Now, this is easy to navigate–and overall UX is better for Android customers as well.

Become even more incognito

For more privacy while browsing, Chrome 92 for iOS offers the option to lock your incognito tabs with your Touch ID, Face ID, or a passcode. Once you lock an incognito tab, it won’t be visible after you leave Chrome until you authenticate it with one of these unlock options.

In order to lock an incognito tab, go to your Settings and click Privacy. Then, toggle Lock incognito tabs when you close Chrome to On. This will make your incognito tabs inaccessible without your iPhone passcode or other method of authentication.

Locking your incognito tabs gives you more privacy, particularly if you share a device with others or leave your phone unlocked. It also provides an extra layer of security for when you’re working or doing something confidential. When your incognito tabs are locked, it’s even more difficult for someone to get into your device. Plus, if the whole goal is privately browsing this feature expands this privacy for you. 

Control who can access your hardware

Prior to the release of Chrome 92, it was a challenge to keep track of which websites you’d given permission to access your hardware. Now, you can easily change these permissions for any particular site, including the ability to use your location, camera, microphone, and more.

To check which permissions you’ve given to a specific website, simply click on the lock icon in the address bar. Go to Site settings. You’ll see a list of all of the permissions you’ve given the site, along with the ability to alter them. These permissions will typically be on the default setting unless you’ve done something to change them.

It is wise to check whether any of these settings are set to Allow. If they are, that means the website does not need to ask your permission in order to access your camera, microphone, etc. 

The safest choice would be to change every setting to Block, but this might not be feasible for certain sites that actually need to access your hardware or need allowances to function. A third option is to choose Ask, which will require the site to ask your permission every time it wants to use your hardware. While at first that may seem annoying, it does let you know everytime a website or app is trying to access your device’s permissions.

Other security features

Aside from the privacy features listed above, Google Chrome has taken pains to update overall security. These security features are built into Chrome, so you don’t need to take action in order to benefit from them. As long as you’ve downloaded the most recent version of Chrome, you’ll be protected by these features.

Google has upgraded site isolation, which shields websites and extensions from side-channel attacks intending to steal information from them. This protects the user as well as the sites they access.

Chrome’s phishing protection has also been improved, with Google using the method of comparing the page you’re visiting with the pages of known phishing sites. If it finds a match, it will notify you and caution you against sharing personal information. Although this can create a strain on CPU resources, Google has found ways to make it more efficient.

Every time a new version of Google Chrome is released, there are numerous security patches that make it better. For Chrome 92, Google patched 35 security flaws, 9 of which were considered severe.

How to update Google Chrome

It’s always best to have the most current version of Google Chrome. This gives you the latest security updates and other useful features. Running an older version of Chrome makes you more vulnerable to online attacks. Hackers will often focus on older versions of software that are no longer being patched, banking on you not being cyber-savvy. Keeping your browser and online products updated keeps you safer. 

In order to check which version of Chrome you’re currently using, go to the Settings tab in the upper right-hand corner. Then, choose About Chrome on the left-hand menu. You will see which version of Chrome you have and whether it is up to date.

If you’re running an older version of Chrome, there will be a button that allows you to update to the latest version. You’ll probably need to relaunch Chrome as part of the update. Not seeing this option likely means you already have the latest version of Chrome–and you’re already being protected by the latest security features!

Are you new to Chrome? You can download the latest version of Chrome here. Keep in mind that the latest version will automatically be downloaded whenever you download Chrome for the first time. Then, you can set it up to update automatically so you don’t have to worry about checking it every time there’s a new release.

Chrome is the most popular web browser. It’s free, convenient, and easy to use. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be well aware of all of the important features so you can decide how to best use these and ensure your online security and safety.

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