Chrome is getting new safety features designed to make it easier to identify suspect downloads and extensions. These features build on the browser’s Enhanced Safe Browsing functionality, introduced last year and designed to warn users about phishing sites.
Chrome now warns you if the extension you’re installing is not trusted. For an extension to be trusted, it needs to come from a developer who has followed Google’s Developer Program Policies and has been around for “at least a few months.”
Chrome will give you a warning if an extension is not trusted, and you can choose to “proceed with caution.” When you do so, you’ll be given the option to “continue to install.”
Chrome store extensions will be considered trusted in more than three-quarters of the cases, according to Google. Having an extension that isn’t “trusted” doesn’t mean it’s dangerous; it means that the developer might be new to the store or may have recently violated a policy.
As part of Chrome’s new security features, Chrome will scan for downloads that appear suspicious. Google will offer a more thorough scan of any download that seems “risky, but not clearly unsafe” in the future.
The process of securing your downloads from the web can be bypassed if you so prefer, but it adds an extra layer of protection. Chrome already performs metadata checks on downloads in addition to the new scanning option.
According to Google, the new features will be rolled out gradually as part of Chrome 91, the browser that was released late last month.