Google Chrome users warned for removing key safety feature
March 11, 2023 12:48 AM
Google has issued a chilling warning to over two billion users of Chrome web browser that a key safety feature has been removed, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The tech giant said the tool was no longer necessary - but users are disappointed to see it go.
Google's Cleanup Tool, introduced in 2015, was designed to find and delete unwanted software that might clog up your browser.
Chrome users were able to access it through the Safety Check option in their Settings. But the feature has now been axed.
The tool will no longer be available in Chrome 111, which rolled out yesterday.
"To date, it has performed more than a 80million cleanups, helping to pave the way for a cleaner, safer web," Google said in a statement.
"Chrome will also remove the component that periodically scans Windows machines and prompts users for cleanup should it find anything suspicious."
Google explained there had been a "steady decline" in unwanted software on people's computer browsers, as well as a drop-in complaints about apps clogging up their web experience.
"For example, last month just 0.06% of Chrome Cleanup Tool scans run by users detected known [unwanted software]," said Google.
Google's Safe Browsing feature combined with people's personal antivirus software "more effectively" blocks unwanted software, the tech behemoth added.
Many Chrome users used the feature to help protect against malware and stop cookie theft - which is when a third party can copy your data and trace all the sites you've explored.
However, Chrome is now tackling malware and cookie theft by using its free Safe Browsing and Enhanced Protection features instead.
Safe Browsing in Chrome is an automatic feature.
Users can change the level of protection they receive by going into Settings > Privacy and Security > Safe Browsing > and selecting the level they want.
However, users will have to manually switch on the Enhanced Protection feature, which was introduced in December.
The feature "substantially increases protection from dangerous websites and downloads," according to Google.
Users can turn it on by going to chrome://settings/security in their browser.