The latest version of Google Chrome adds new password and real-time phishing protections, tab freezing, and other new features.
“Many of us have encountered malware, heard of data breaches, or even been a victim of phishing, where a site tries to scam you into entering your passwords and other sensitive information,” Google’s AbdelKarim Mardini writes in a post announcing Chrome’s new security features. “With all this considered, data security has become a top concern for many people worldwide. Chrome has safety protections built-in, and now we’re expanding those protections further.”
New features in Chrome 79 include:
Better password protection. The Password Checker functionality that Google first released as an extension is being integrated into Chrome 79, though it will be rolled out to users “gradually” over an unspecified timeframe. Basically, Chrome will now warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a data breach and will make suggestions about changing them everywhere they’re used.
Real-time phishing protection. Google’s Safe Browsing technology now provides real-time phishing protection rather than the previous method, by which its unsafe websites list was refreshed every 30 minutes. This feature will be rolled out to users who have enabled the setting “Make searches and browsing better” at first.
Predictive phishing protection. Now even users who don’t sync Chrome settings will be warned if they enter their Google Account password into a site that Google suspects of phishing.
Improved profile display. Those using multiple user profiles in Chrome will see a new visual representation of the currently signed-in account that’s clearer and more obvious. You can also use this icon to switch between available profiles.
Tab freezing. This new feature automatically unloads tabs that haven’t been used for more than 5 minutes to free up CPU and RAM resources and save battery life. It’s not enabled by default, however. To turn it on, open chrome://flags/#proactive-tab-freeze in Chrome and change it to Enabled.
Back-Forward button caching. Another optional feature, this one caches your Back and Forward histories so that the sites are loaded more quickly from the cache and not from the Internet if you return. To enable it, visit chrome://flags/#back-forward-cache in Chrome.