Google is adding a new feature to the next release of Chrome that will proactively alert you when an extension isn’t in the Chrome Web Store, according to a post from Oliver Dunk, a developer relations engineer for Chrome extensions. The new feature, being added as part of Chrome 117, will make it easier to stay on top of extensions that have been removed by a developer, been taken down for violating the Chrome Web Store policies, or been marked as malware.
Dunk says Chrome will show extensions that fall under those categories in a “Safety check” section in the privacy and security part of Chrome’s settings. “When a user clicks ‘Review,’ they will be taken to their extensions and given the choice to either remove the extension or hide the warning if they wish to keep the extension installed,” Dunk explains. “As in previous versions of Chrome, extensions marked as malware are automatically disabled.”
That’s not the only security-related update Google discussed for Chrome on Wednesday. The company is going to automatically upgrade all http:// URLs to https://, the more secure version of HTTP that encrypts your traffic, “even when you click on a link that explicitly declares http://,” according to a separate blog post. Google says it will detect when the attempted upgrades don’t work, and when that happens, Chrome will fall back to http://. Google is “experimenting” with the change in Chrome 115 (Chrome 116 is the current stable release). The company plans to roll it out to everyone “soon.”
Google also says that Chrome will soon show a warning when you try to download “high-risk files” while on an insecure connection. The warnings are set to roll out in mid-September, and you can see Google’s example image of what they will look like below.