Google’s expanding Chrome’s Incognito lockdown on mobile and Safety Check
Google is rolling out access to a feature that lets you lock your Chrome Incognito sessions behind biometric authentication, making it so someone using your phone won’t be able to open your browser and see what you were looking at privately, according to a Thursday blog post. The feature has been available in the iOS version of Chrome for a while now, but now it’s becoming more widely available on Android (read: won’t require activating via a flag).
The Lock Incognito tabs when you close Chrome feature does what its name suggests — you can open Incognito tabs normally, but if you switch to another app, you’ll have to unlock Chrome when you return to get at the hidden tabs. You can do that via your phone’s unlock pin or through biometrics like your fingerprint or face. However, someone can still see your regular tabs without an unlock.
To enable the feature, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, then go to Settings > privacy and security. There, you can toggle the “Lock Incognito tabs when you leave Chrome” option.
Google also says that it’s expanding its Safety Check feature, which can do things like scan your saved passwords and let you know if any of them have been compromised and weed out malicious extensions. Google says it’s making Safety Check more proactive by rolling out “more personalized recommendations and reminders” to notify you about what kind of permissions sites have.