Google Chrome is making a crucial update to help keep you safe

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A recent code change (opens in new tab) for Google Chrome has uncovered an updated feature that will see the popular web browser automatically preventing insecure downloads from HTTP sites.

Formerly the norm, many HTTP sites have since been updated to use HTTPS encryption in an effort to protect extensive data that we share about ourselves on the web.

Now the favored option, Google has already implemented a series of changes that see its users retrieving and sharing data more securely.

Chrome: HTTP and HTTPS

One such change is a recently-introduced “Always use secure connections” toggle that tells Chrome to upgrade any sites from an HTTP connection to HTTPS. Older sites that are HTTP-only also display a “Not Secure” warning in the address bar.

The code change spotted by 9To5Google (opens in new tab) indicates that the toggle will now warn users against downloading anything from an HTTP connection. Previously, Chrome users were notified when an HTTPS website downloaded a file in HTTP format, known as mixed content.

In-keeping with the nature of a toggle button, it will serve mostly as a warning that full prevention, allowing users to continue to use the web as they need, which in some cases may still involve a less secure HTTP connection.

The update is unlikely to appear in Chrome 111, expected in March 2023, for testing, but could well be part of the company’s next release  later in the year. 

Google’s commitment to its browser, be it security enhancements or other features like the recently announced memory and energy saver modes, is applauded among web users, to the point where it now accounts for two-thirds (66%) of all desktop browsers installed according to StatCounter (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Edge and Apple’s Safari trail far behind in second and third place, representing around 11% and 10% of the desktop browser market respectively.


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