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Google Chrome Will Soon Automatically Block All Downloads from Unsecured Sites

File photo of the Google Chrome browser installed on an Android smartphone.

File photo of the Google Chrome browser installed on an Android smartphone.

The initiative is part of Google Chrome's upcoming update, in response to the rampant increase in the easy spreading of malware.

Google has been attempting to increase its measures undertaken to to enhance security and safety features on its Chrome browser. In the latest update for Google Chrome, a newly introduced feature will attempt to block any download that comes via an http URL, or any website that does not follow the https secure website protocol. This is a step for Google to create a more secure web experience for users, which it aims to do by forcing audio and video downloads to use https connections only. As a result, all the downloads via non-secure servers will be blocked automatically by Chrome.

The announcement was made through Google's official Chromium blog, where Google stated that it will start the roadmap to block the insecure downloads starting April 2020. It will first start off by warning users, subsequently moving towards automatically blocking the non-secure downloads. The move is being made to prevent the easy spread of malware, which happens when users unknowingly download corrupted or infected files from the internet, hence inadvertently giving access to sensitive data to attackers.

https://blog.chromium.org/2020/02/protecting-users-from-insecure.html

The rollout of the feature has been detailed Here is the detailed roadmap of the blocking feature:

-In Chrome 81 (released March 2020) and later, Chrome will print a console message warning about all mixed content downloads

-In Chrome 82 (released April 2020), Chrome will warn users about mixed content downloads of executables (such as .exe files)

-In Chrome 83 (released June 2020), Chrome will block mixed content executables, and give a warning on mixed content archives (.zip) and disk images (.iso)

-In Chrome 84 (released August 2020), Chrome will block mixed content executables, archives and disk images, warning all other mixed content downloads except image, audio, video and text formats

-In Chrome 85 (released September 2020), Chrome will warn on mixed content downloads of images, audio, video, and text, and block all other mixed content downloads

-In Chrome 86 (released October 2020) and beyond, Chrome will block all mixed content downloads

The feature is set to go live soon, and may help users stay safer on the internet.