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Google releases privacy and performance updates in Chrome browser

Google released updates in Chrome to make it easier for people to navigate and control their privacy settings — and save some battery on mobile devices, too.

Per-site permissions, now just one tap away

Visiting certain websites requires access to one’s microphone, location, and camera. With the updated site safety controls, it is now easier to keep track of which site has permission to specific information. Simply tap the lock icon on the left side of the Chrome address bar to open the updated panel, which shows what permissions are granted for a particular site. From there, people will be able to easily toggle between sharing and not sharing access to important information and apps like location and camera. In an upcoming release, an option will be added to delete a site from browsing history in Chrome. The updated site controls are now rolling out in Chrome on Android phones and tablets and will come to other platforms in upcoming releases.

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New Chrome actions, including safety checks from the address bar

Chrome Actions are a quick and simple way to take an action right from Chrome’s address bar. For example, typing “delete history” or “edit passwords” performs an action right then and there. Since their introduction in November 2020, people have been using Chrome Actions millions of times and there’s even more that can be done with it. For instance, simply typing in “safety check” allows security checks of passwords and scan for malicious extensions. Typing “manage security settings” or “manage sync” enables quick access to relevant controls.

Improved Site isolation and phishing detection

Google is expanding Site Isolation, a security feature that protects people from malicious websites. It works by processing each site separately, so they can’t access data they’re not supposed to. Site Isolation will now cover a broader range of sites, as well as extensions, which comes with the tweaks that improve Chrome’s speed.

The best of both worlds — speed and security — comes with Google’s next update too. Phishing continues to be one of the leading threats on the web but protecting against such attacks can sometimes impact browser speed. With the latest improvements in image processing in Chrome, phishing detection is now 50 times faster and drains less battery.

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