Chrome will now warn you when you download questionable files

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Google is rolling out new safety features for Chrome, designed to make it easier to recognize when you are about to download questionable files and extensions. The team behind it built upon the Enhanced Safe Browsing feature which was launched last year to catch phishing attacks.

When it comes to Chrome extensions, the browser will now give you a warning if you try to install something that is not considered ‘trusted’.

To be trusted, the extensions need to come from a developer who has followed Google Developer Program Policies.

The changes

This is not new and has been around for a few months, meaning that brand-new developers will not be considered trusted by Google.

When trying to download an extension that is not trusted, Chrome will show you a pop-up warning that you should ‘proceed with caution.’ However, it will not completely bar you and will give you an option to ‘continue to install’ the extension.

Google says that nearly 3 out of 4 extensions on the Chrome store will be considered trusted in the new criteria.

What do the changes mean?

When Google says that an extension is not trusted, it does not mean that the extension is dangerous. It just means that the developer might be new to the store or may have a prior minor policy violation. Chrome is also getting new scanning features that will look for suspicious downloads.

All downloads deemed risky but not unsafe, will be routed through Google’s servers for a thorough scan.

The process can be bypassed, if you want. However, it is a great way to stay safe when browsing, since malware is mostly downloaded as suspicious files on the internet. Google says that features will roll out gradually for Chrome 91.

Tip: Are browser extensions still safe to use?