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National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a good time to learn more about how you can use your browser’s security indicators to stay safe online. One of the most important security indicators in Google Chrome is the “omnibox,” the spot where you enter web addresses:



The first thing to notice about the omnibox is that Google Chrome highlights the domain name of the website that you’re viewing with a slightly darker color. The domain name indicates which website is being displayed by the browser in the current tab. For example, the domain name in the image above is “www.google.com”.

Before interacting with a website, check that the omnibox has highlighted the domain name you expect. If the domain name doesn’t match what you expect, the website might be spoofing the “look and feel” of another site as part of a phishing attack. Google Chrome has built-in protection against phishing, but checking the domain name yourself is a good security habit — especially when entering sensitive information, such as your password or credit card number.

When entering sensitive information, the second thing to notice about the omnibox is the lock icon, which is displayed to the left of the web site address and, in the case above, is colored green. The lock icon indicates that Google Chrome has established an encrypted connection that works like a tunnel between your computer and the domain name displayed in the omnibox. An encrypted connection helps prevent malicious parties from eavesdropping or tampering with the data sent between your computer and the website. Most websites will use an encrypted tunnel when asking for your password or credit card number to help prevent people using the same wireless network as you, for example at a coffee shop, from being able to eavesdrop on your sensitive information.

Some websites have an “extended validation” certificate that lets the browser determine the name of the organization that runs the web site. Notice the green box between the lock icon and the web address in the omnibox:



The extended validation indicator makes it easier for you to determine which organization is responsible for the displayed web page. For example, the extended validation indicator for https://www.benefitaccess.com/ says “Citigroup Inc [US],” indicating that Citigroup is responsible for that web page – a fact which might have been difficult to determine without the indicator. You should be careful to share sensitive information with a website only if you trust the organization responsible for the site.

If you would like to learn more about the browser’s security indicators, you might enjoy reading our Help Center article on Chrome’s indicators. Until next time, safe surfing!


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Not long ago, we mentioned that we’d be releasing a new stable version of Google Chrome approximately every six weeks to get bug fixes, improvements, and new features in the hands of our users quickly in the spirit of speedy innovation. With that in mind, we’re happy to bring you a new stable version of Google Chrome today.

In this stable release, we’ve focused primarily on hundreds of bug fixes. We’ve also included a few other things that may be of interest to developers, such as full AppleScript support on Mac OS X for UI automation and implementation of the HTML5 parsing algorithm, the File API, and directory upload (via <input type="file" webkitdirectory>). Also, if you choose to block sites from setting any data in your browser’s content settings for cookies, you can now use a new dialog for managing blocked cookies in bulk.

Enjoy!

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With so many new extensions uploaded in the gallery every day, we know it can be tricky to decide which ones to try out. We post a selection of the ones we enjoy in the "Featured" section of the gallery, and from now on we plan to update you regularly on new additions to our recommended extensions.

Here are a few new extensions in the Featured section:


Layers allows you to overlay content like sticky notes, images, videos, tweets and even maps over any web site. You can drag and drop your content anywhere on the page. You can also share and discuss whatever you add to the site with your friends across social networks.


The Postrank extension for Google Reader helps you stay up-to-date on the news and posts that matter. The extension aggregates engagement activity such as tweets, comments and votes from over two dozen social networks and ranks stories based on how much engagement each story has received.



With the Ozone extension, you can get suggestions from fifteen different sources like Google, Amazon, your bookmarks, Gmail, YouTube and more. As you type in the Ozone search box, you can see the suggestions change in real time.



Highlight to Search is a new official Google extension that allows you to search keywords by highlighting instead of typing them into a search box. When you highlight words within a web page, you'll see a magnifying glass icon appear below the highlighted keywords. Clicking on the icon or the keywords allows you to search easily from the search box that immediately appears.

These are just a few of the new featured Chrome extensions, and you can find many more in the gallery.