Category Archives: Chrome

Chrome 62.0.3202.62: thirty-five security fixes

If you want to test your web browser’s performance and memory management, just point it to the full change log for Chrome 62.0.3202.62. It’s a behemoth, documenting over ten thousand distinct changes.

Given the number of changes in Chrome 62.0.3202.62, I decided to skip reading the log and trust that Google would point out anything interesting in the release announcement.

The announcement for Chrome 62.0.3202.62 documents thirty-five fixes for security vulnerabilities, so clearly this is an important update. As for the other changes, Google says only this:

Chrome 62.0.3202.62 contains a number of fixes and improvements — a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 62.

Chrome usually updates itself within a few days of a new release. You can trigger an update by navigating to the About page: click the three-vertical-dots menu button, then Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 61.0.3163.100

There are exactly fifty-seven items in the change log for Chrome 61.0.3163.100. Some of those changes are version increments and other housekeeping; about forty are actual changes to functionality. Most of those changes are fixes for minor issues. Three of the fixes are for security issues.

If you’ve stopped trying to prevent Chrome from updating itself, it will no doubt proceed with this update automatically. But since the new version includes security fixes, it’s a good idea to make sure. Click the main menu button (three vertical dots at the top right of Chrome’s window), then Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 61.0.3163.79 includes 22 security fixes

The change log for Chrome 61.0.3163.79 is another browser-challenging page, this one having over 10,000 entries. Google didn’t bother to highlight any of the changes, aside from the twenty-two security issues addressed in the new version.

Unless you’ve gone out of your way to disable the various auto-update mechanisms Google installs alongside its software, Chrome should update itself within a day or so of the new version becoming available. If not, you can usually trigger an update by visiting Chrome’s About page: click the three-dot menu button, then select Help > About Google Chrome.

Chrome 59.0.3071.86

With thirty security fixes in Chrome 59.0.3071.86, I would expect Google to emphasize the need for users to update as soon as possible. Instead, the release announcement says “This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.” Presumably Google feels that the fixed security issues are too obscure to represent any imminent threat.

To be fair, personal experience has shown that Chrome is great at detecting updates, often very soon after they become available. Visiting the About page is usually enough to trigger an update. Click the three-vertical-dots menu button, then choose Help > About.

If you have several hours to kill, you might want to check out the change log for Chrome 59.0.3071.86, which by my count contains 10,911 entries.

Google’s new Chrome ad blocker raises questions

Google is giving web advertisers until the end of the year to comply with the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads, after which a new ad-blocker in Chrome will start blocking non-compliant ads.

This raises some interesting questions.

Google is the biggest provider of advertising services on the web. Will Google block ads from its own platform if they don’t meet the new standards? That scenario, while interesting to ponder, is unlikely to occur, since Google’s ad creation tools will presumably prevent it.

If Google’s ads are unlikely to be blocked, won’t this be viewed as anti-competitive behaviour by other advertisers? Google will point to the independent standards set up by the CBA, but will that be enough? Less-reputable advertising providers — those allowing the sorts of ads Google wants to block — stand to lose significant revenue. These days it doesn’t take much to trigger a lawsuit, and Google is a favourite target for litigation, because it has enormously deep pockets.

From the user perspective, Chrome’s new ad blocker will be purely beneficial. Opera already has a built-in ad blocker, and it’s likely that the other major browser makers are working on similar features. But there are weird times ahead for Google.

Flash 25.0.0.171

Adobe’s software updates for April include Flash 25.0.0.171, which fixes seven security issues in previous versions. If Flash is enabled in your web browser, you should visit the official Flash About page to check its version and update if it’s not current.

As usual, Chrome will update itself with the latest Flash, and Internet Explorer and Edge get their new Flash via Windows Update.

Chrome 58.0.3029.96

A single security fix is the only change mentioned in the release announcement for the latest version of Chrome.

The change log contains forty-one changes, of which about twenty-five are minor bug fixes.

Chrome is pretty good about updating itself, but since this version includes a security fix, you should probably make sure by checking: three-dot-menu > Help > About Google Chrome. This will usually trigger an update if one is required.

Chrome set to flag more sites as ‘Not Secure’

Google’s efforts to make the web a safer place include the recent addition of a Not Secure indicator in Chrome’s address bar for sites that are not using HTTPS encryption.

Up to this point, that indicator only appears when a web page includes boxes for entering passwords or credit card information. In the near future, Chrome will expand the conditions in which sites are flagged as Not Secure. In October, Chrome 62 will start flagging as Not Secure any unencrypted web page that includes any data entry boxes, and all unencrypted pages accessed while Chrome is in Incognito mode. Eventually, Chrome will flag all unencrypted pages as Not Secure.

If you use Chrome, you’ve probably noticed that it also flags encrypted sites as Secure. This is misleading, since all it means is that the site is using HTTPS encryption. It doesn’t imply that the site is safe to use, only that it is using an encrypted connection. A site flagged as Secure can still be dangerous to visit, for example if it contains malware. Wordfence’s Mark Maunder recently wrote about the danger of assuming Chrome’s Secure flag means ‘safe’.

Chrome 58.0.3029.81

The change log for Chrome 58.0.3029.81 is ten thousand items long, so you might want to think twice before clicking that link. It’s probably safe to say that there are no new features or major changes in the new version, since nothing of the kind is mentioned in the release announcement. This is an important update, though. That’s because it includes fixes for twenty-nine security flaws.

Chrome seems to update itself on most computers within a day or so of a new release, but you can usually trigger an update by opening the browser’s menu (the three-vertical-dots icon at the top right) and navigating to Help > About Google Chrome.