When it comes to Chromebook and Chrome OS, in general, it is largely believed that this is one of the safety platforms available. Part of this reason for this is that most of the stuff you do on Chrome OS is done in-browser and therefore, very little is downloaded to your device. As such, the chances of downloading anything nasty is greatly reduced. Well, that does not mean that Google considers the platform as safe as it can be. In fact, safety seems to be quickly became one of the top things on Google’s agenda. It was only yesterday that the company announced that their Nexus range of devices will begin seeing monthly updates coming through. Updates with a clear focus on security.
Well, in terms of Chrome OS, Google has today also announced a measure designed to make the platform even safer. The announcement focuses on the use of inline installs and confirms that starting from September 3rd, Google will be removing and disabling inline install capabilities from a number of websites which have been deemed to be deceptive or dangerous. According to the announcement, inline installs are the biggest complaint that Google hears from its users and the number of deceptive inline installs seems to be rising. As such, this is the reason as to why google is making today’s announcement.
For those unfamiliar with inline installations, they are essentially an alternative way for a Chrome OS user to install extensions on Chrome OS. While the main and traditional way is to go through the Chrome Store, inline installs offer developers the ability to effectively directly link to the extension from their own website. In short, the third party website hosts a click to download link which downloads the extension from the Chrome Store. At least, that is the idea. The deceptive links are ones which do not directly link with the intended target and instead link to other content and it is these ones that Google is looking to crack down on. Instead, and going forward from September 3rd, the links will now redirect the user to the actual Chrome Store listing allowing them the option to directly download the app in the more traditional way. It might mean that for some sites, there is an extra click involved before downloading the extension, but for the user, it does mean that they will be downloading the correct extension. If you’re a developer and worried about your extension, it is worth pointing out that Google state that less than 2-percent of all extensions will be affected. The redirection which will take place, is only happening for deceptive inline installation links.