Google Chrome to Bring the Ability to Block Suspicious HTTP Downloads: Report

Google Chrome's feature to block insecure HTTP downloads might arrive with Chrome 111 for testing.

Google Chrome to Bring the Ability to Block Suspicious HTTP Downloads: Report

Google Chrome’s ability to block insecure HTTP downloads is likely to be rolled out next year

  • Google Chrome currently flags HTTP websites as “Not Secure”
  • Chrome currently blocks secure websites from using insecure web forms
  • The browser also uses an “Always use secure connections” toggle

Google Chrome is reportedly working on a new development that will protect users from insecure HTTP downloads. With the most secure websites now using HTTPS encryption, Chrome is planning to block all HTTP downloads, encouraging safe and secure browsing. Currently, the browser has a couple of security features including mixed elements and an “Always use secure connections” toggle in security settings. The browser also flags a “Not Secure” warning for older sites that are only HTTP-encrypted in the address bar.

According to a report by 9To5Google, a recent code change for Google Chrome has been spotted with a feature that will warn users of insecure downloads from sited using HTTP. The feature is currently under development and there is no word from the tech giant on the same. The feature will flag a warning to users to use a secure HTTPS connection. It will block downloads from an insecure website with HTTP encryption.

The report explained that the browser will block the download as unsafe even if the website with HTTPS encryption redirects the user to an insecure HTTP server for download, which eventually takes the user to another secure HTTPS connection. If the website is available only through HTTP encryption, then Chrome will block downloads from the site as well. However, users will be reportedly able to bypass the block. The report says that the feature will issue a loud warning rather than truly blocking users from unsafe downloads.

As per the report, the update might arrive with Chrome 111, which is expected to be rolled out in March 2023, for testing. But the launch date of the stable version is yet to be known as it is still under development.

Meanwhile, Chrome has recently rolled out an upgrade to its address bar by bringing in new shortcuts for easier browsing. The Web browser has introduced three site search shortcuts — @tabs, @bookmarks, and @history for the Chrome 108 version for desktops. You can press the spacebar after entering any of these three shortcuts and you will be taken to the relevant page. 


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Further reading: Google Chrome, Google
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