NOTE, internet: The new update to Google Chrome is out. Chrome 96 (full name 96.0.4664.45 — catchy) is rolls out to all of our Google browsers this week. With it, we get some cool new features and, more important, significant security fixes. It means if if you do not update, you risk endangering your digital security.
Critical security patches
The only reason for you need to update to Chrome 96 is this one: the new version includes patches for 25 identified security vulnerabilities. While the risk profile for most of them peak at “low” or “medium”, Google has highlighted seven as “high” risk, including:
- High CVE-2021-38007: Type confusion in V8. Reported by Polaris Feng and SGFvamll at Singular Security Lab on 29-09-2021
- High CVE-2021-38008: Use for free in media. Reported by Marcin Towalski from Cisco Talos on 26-10-2021
- High CVE-2021-38009: Inappropriate cached implementation. Reported by Luan Herrera (@lbherrera_) on 2021-10-16
- High CVE-2021-38006: Use after free in storage foundation. Reported by Sergei Glazunov from Google Project Zero on 2021-08-17
- High CVE-2021-38005: Use after free in loader. Reported by Sergei Glazunov from Google Project Zero on 2021-08-18
- High CVE-2021-38010: Inappropriate implementation by service staff. Reported by Sergei Glazunov from Google Project Zero on 2021-10-2
- High CVE-2021-38011: Use after free in storage foundation. Reported by Sergei Glazunov from Google Project Zero on 2021-11-09
Whether you can decode all that or not, tThe only way to protect yourself from these security vulnerabilities is to update your browser ASAP.
Dark mode settings for each site
Even if you are an avid user of dark mode, sometimes you will not have it all sites to have a darker theme by default. With Chrome 96, Google is testing a new feature that lets you select dark mode settings on one site-by-site basis.
Since this feature still is in test phase, activate its flag to make it work. To get started, copy and paste the following into your Chrome URL menu bar, then tap go to see if it’s available at your end:
When the function is activated, you will be able to add sites to a list of dark mode exceptions; When you visit these sites in the future, Chrome will not trigger dark mode.
A cool new change that comes with Chrome 96 is an attempt to make navigating your web history a little easieraster. Chrome now caches the sites you recently visited and will turn to that cache when you use the navigation arrows (or keyboard shortcuts) to go back through your story. Google claims here that this change will result in “instant navigation to previously visited web pages.”
Clipboard now retains PNG metadata
In earlier versions of Chrome, the system removed PNG files for their metadata before reading them. Google has decided to stop doing that and go the more traditional route of preserving this metadata. This should result in faster read speeds for PNG files – as much as 14 times faster, according to Google.
Chrome 96 also has lots of features only developers that you can learn more about in Google Chrome Developer History.
How to update Google Chrome
That features and patches above will not be by anyone use for you if you do not refresh your browser. Fortunately, Google has a solid auto-update system in place, and I doIt is possible that your browser has already updated without you noticing.
To check, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of your browser and select “Settings” and then “About Google Chrome”. (Alternatively, you can click on the three dots, select “Help” and then “About Google Chrome”.) If your browser is fully updated, you can see it here. If not, you will be able to update from this page. If there is an update available, you may also have set a large “update” button in your browser’s taskbar already. Click on it and you are well on your way.