It’s safe to say that Google’s Chrome browser is indisputably the champion of web browsers. The browser’s global market share just keeps on growing from month to month, and the gap is widening.
Currently, it has steadily increased its market share to about 64% of web users, beating Safari, Firefox, Opera and Microsoft’s Edge and Internet Explorer by a wide margin.
Most people like it because of its speed, multi-platform integration, user-friendliness, third-party extensions, incognito mode and its clean and simplified design. It also has ample privacy and security tools you can employ to protect yourself while browsing the web.
Despite its massive popularity, Google is not sitting pretty on its throne. The company is constantly working on new updates and features that keep the Chrome experience fresh, relevant and secure.
The latest major Chrome update does just that. It has a number of new security features designed to protect you from some of the most annoying issues when browsing the web. Read on and learn why you should update to the latest version of Chrome as soon as you can.
Google just moved Chrome 71 to its Stable desktop channel and it’s now currently rolling out to the general public.
Aside from the fixes for 43 security bugs, this update also comes with security features that aim to stop malicious and abusive ads, deceptive billing pages and auto-play content.
Here are the most critical updates you’ll get with Chrome 71.
Ad-filter for abusive sites
One welcome feature in Chrome 71 is its built-in ad filter for sites that are known to display over-aggressive or misleading popups and advertisements.
According to Google, sites like these create “abusive experiences” for Chrome users, so the new ad filter will try to fix this annoyance.
Once you’ve updated to Chrome 71, to turn this on (or off), click the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your Chrome window then click Settings.
On the new Settings tab, scroll down then click Advanced. Now, under the “Privacy and security” section, click “Content settings”>>”Ads.” Here. you can toggle the filter on or off.
Note: It’s a bit confusing, but having the toggle set to “Off” actually means that the ad filter is on.
Deceptive billing pages
One popular ploy with scammers these days is deceptive pages that use misleading forms to sign you up with a recurring subscription.
For example, in order for you to gain access to a game or content, a site may request your phone number. Once you fill out the online form and submit your information, these deceptive sites will actually sign you up for a monthly subscription without your knowledge and charge you a one-time or even a recurring fee.
To prevent this scam, Google 71 is adding a new category to its Safe Browsing filters called “Billing.”
With this new feature, if you attempt to visit a site that’s been flagged for using deceptive billing forms and pages, you will be automatically shown a warning saying “The page ahead may try to charge you money.”
Auto-play block re-enabled
Remember when Chrome 66 introduced a new feature that prevented videos from playing automatically with sound?
Apparently, it broke the sound of tons of legitimate content like legacy HTML5-based games, apps and multimedia content on websites.
In response, Google temporarily removed the auto-play blocking feature to give developers who use the Web Audio API enough time to update their code.
Note: The Web Audio API is what HTML-based content such as games, audio apps, video apps, etc., use for handling their audio.
Now, with Chrome 71, Google has re-enabled the Web Audio API auto-play block, and it will now follow the rest of the browser’s auto-play policies.
This means Google has decided that it has given enough time to developers who still use the Web Audio API for their content to update their code and comply with Chrome’s new auto-play blocking features.
How to update Chrome
Google Chrome can be set to automatically update with new versions that include the most recent security patches.
If you’re using a computer, just close and reopen your Chrome browser. Or, Click the Chrome menu that looks like three horizontal lines on the far upper-right hand corner of the screen >> Update Google Chrome >> Relaunch.
If you don’t see Google Chrome 71 yet, don’t worry. That means it has not rolled out to your system yet. However, there’s a way to fast-track Chrome Stable releases to your system.
How to get Chrome’s Stable desktop channel release now
Did you know that Google provides early release versions of Chrome, and you don’t even have to sign up for a beta program?
Just go to the Chrome Release Channels page and download the desired release channel. In this case, install the Stable Channel Update release for your respective system.