Google’s Chrome browser has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently. As a result of Microsoft’s May 2020 update, Chrome users found that they were no longer able to stay signed in. This affected the ability to sync their data, store cookies, remember passwords, and other third party extension data1. They also made tech news when more than 70 malicious browser extensions containing spyware were downloaded 32 million times by Chrome users 1. These weren’t small events, and they caused many loyal Chrome users to consider other browsers.
With its newest update, Chrome turned a new leaf as it addressed security issues, increased performance, and added helpful features for its users. These changes were so significant that Microsoft used the same open-source Chromium technologies as the core for the Edge browser2.
Prior to its most recent update, Google paid more than $10,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported several of the 20 vulnerabilities fixed in Chrome 85 3. Google’s bounty program began in 2010 and aims to increase the integrity and security of information hosted on Google’s websites. Two of the bugs fixed in the Chrome 85 update were marked “high”, Google’s second-most-serious threat level 3.
Chrome users can now enjoy 10% faster speeds. This is thanks to a feature called Profile Guided Optimization (PGO). PGO technology prioritizes the most frequently used functions while placing less emphasis on lesser-used functions. This, in turn, results in a higher overall performance when performing your most common day-to-day tasks within your Chrome browser.
Clean up your browser and remove popups
New features were also introduced with the Chrome 85 release. As a frequent “new tab” opener with more than 15 tabs open at any given time, I’m excited to try these new features.
- PDF Filling - Instead of relying on external programs and extensions, Chrome users will be able to fill out PDF forms directly within the browser and save the updates. If the same PDF is later opened, the user can then pick up where they left off.
- Tab Grouping - For those who find themselves with large amounts of tabs open consecutively, tab grouping is a huge game-changer. It allows users to lump several tabs together, even designating them with a color and name. This feature can be enabled at Chrome://flags/
- Tab Previewing - when mousing over a tab, a thumbnail of the page appears in a small pop-up. This avoids needless reloading of tabs and the trouble of clicking on several tabs to find what you’re looking for. If the feature hasn’t activated on your updated browser just yet, you can enable it at Chrome://flags/.
These newest updates make it clear that Google cares about security and listens to their users’ requests. Given their past, it’s not unreasonable to feel skeptical about your security while using Chrome. To make sure that your browsing experience is as safe and secure as possible, make sure that you’ve upgraded to the most recent Chrome version and that you’re using browser protection to block malicious browser extensions and websites.