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Google has announced plans for three new security features in upcoming versions of the Chrome web browser. They are https-first mode, safety check for extensions and quantum resistant encryption. This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney Australia.

For the first security feature, Google wants to make the web secure by default and will be updating the chrome browser to automatically upgrade all unsecured http connections to the secured https versions. In addition, the browser will display a warning before downloading any high-risk files over insecure connections.

The next security feature is safety check for extensions. This is where Chrome will proactively highlight to users when an installed extension is no longer in the Chrome Web store for any of the three specific cases.

  1. The first is if the extension has been unpublished by the developer.
  2. The second is if the extension was taken down due to policy violation
  3. And the third is when the extension was marked as malware.

Users will be able to review the notifications and they can choose to either remove the extension, or to hide the warning if they wish to keep the extension installed.

The last upcoming security feature is support for quantum-resistant encryption algorithms. Chrome browser will begin supporting the use of Kyber 768 for establishing symmetric secrets in TLS. While it is expected to take several years, possible even decades for quantum computers to pose several risks; it is still important to start protecting traffic data today as certain uses of cryptography are vulnerable to a type of attack called “Harvest Now, Decrypt Later”.

These three security features are expected to be available by mid-September 2023.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast