Google revamps privacy and security controls in Chrome

Google's Chrome browser is getting a redesigned experience for the privacy and safety controls starting today. The redesign includes simplified visuals and language to make settings easier to find and understand.

It's now easier to manage cookies, with the ability to control which websites can use cookies and if they can do it in regular and incognito browsing windows. On that note, incognito browsing will start blocking third-party cookies by default, though they can be allowed through an icon on the address bar.

The Site Settings section is now split into two sections to make it easier to manage more sensitive permissions, such as webcam and microphone access, as well as recent permissions activity. There's also a new 'You and Google' section at the top of the Chrome settings, which lets users manage sync settings, giving them more control over what data is shared with Google. Additionally, the ability to clear browsing data is now at the top of the Privacy and Security section.

Google is also introducing a new Safety check feature which checks whether you're browsing the web safely. First, it checks if any of your saved passwords have been compromised in a known security breach, similar to Firefox's password monitor. It will also check if you're using Google's Safe Browsing feature, if you have any malicious extensions installed, and if you're running the latest version of Chrome.

Google is also introducing Enhanced Safe Browsing, an opt-in feature that sends webpages to Google Safe Browsing to proactively check if they're safe. If you're signed into Chrome, this protection will extend to other Google services through your Google Account. There's also Secure DNS, a feature that encrypts DNS lookup using DNS-over-HTTPS, which will be on by default.

Finally, there's a new button in the Chrome toolbar that provides quick access to all of the user's extensions. They open in a pop-up menu that allows the user to still control whether the extension can access website data, and more.

All of these features will be rolling out over the next few weeks as part of Chrome version 83.

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