Google Chrome users looking for the latest in safety and performance will want to update the desktop browser to its newest version. In a blog post published Thursday, Google highlighted a couple of new features designed to notify you of malicious activity and help free up the browser’s memory use.
First on the list is Safety Check. This built-in tool alerts you if any of your stored passwords have been caught up in a data breach, if any of your installed extensions are potentially malicious, and if any specific site permissions need your attention.
In the past, you’d had to run the Safety Check manually. But with the latest update to Chrome, Safety Check now runs in the background and will automatically warn you of any potentially dangerous activity.
Safety Check will also allow you to revoke permissions to certain sites that you haven’t used in a while. For example, you can disable their ability to track your location or use your microphone.
Further, the tool will tell you if you’re receiving a lot of notifications from sites you hardly use so you can quickly disable them. You can still run Safety Check manually but now it will run on its own as well.
On the performance front, Google has also beefed up the Memory Saver tool. This one aims to reduce the amount of system memory and resources that Chrome chews up, especially as you open more tabs. With Memory Saver enabled, the browser frees up memory from inactive tabs so that the active ones remain responsive.
With recent updates, you’re now able to view the memory usage of each open tab just by hovering over it. Plus, you can more easily choose which sites should always remain active in a tab.
To enable Memory Saver, open Settings, go to the Performance section, and turn on the switch for Memory Saver. Here, you can also specify which sites you want to always remain active.
And here’s another even more pressing reason to update Chrome to the latest version — 20.0.6099.129 for Mac and Linux and 120.0.6099.130 for Windows. A new security fix puts the kibosh on a critical bug discovered by researchers at Google’s Threat Analysis Group and already spotted in the wild.
Labeled CVE-2023-7024, corruption of a heap buffer overflow in the WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) component in previous versions of Chrome could be exploited by a remote attacker via a specially crafted HTML page. All that technobabble means that a bad guy could trick the browser into crashing or even running malicious code.
But wait, there’s more on tap.
Chrome already offers a feature called Tab groups to help you better organize all your tabs. Courtesy of an update rolling out over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to save your Tab groups to access them on other computers and devices that run Chrome.
And in one more teasing tidbit, Google said that smarter and more helpful features will hit Chrome in early 2024 driven by the company’s AI-powered Gemini model.