Using Google Chrome’s New Android-Like Permissions System.

If anyone who’s reading this knows a bit about Android you’ll know that since the very start Google has had a permissions system. The permission system on Android is very simple. It allows you to review exactly what an app is requesting before you install it. That way you can stop and think about installing that Wallpaper app when you realize it want’s access to your text messages.

With a little help from the open source community (specifically Cyanogenmod) a while back a system was introduced where you could “revoke” permissions and still install the app. Example being you could install this wallpaper app, but deny it access to your text messages. Making the security a little bit more logical. While this wasn’t officially supported it looks like Google doesn’t hate the idea! In the latest release in the Chrome Development Channel it appears Google has created a system that allows users to set the permissions of a website on a site by site basis. This is a fantastic leap for web security in my opinion. As someone who works with web development daily it’s great to know that I can block pretty much every sort of script when I get the feeling that a WordPress install might have been a little less than secure. While I could always do this before–it wasn’t as comprehensive and simple as it is in the latest development builds.

Here’s how it works.

First you’ll want visit the website you want to review the permissions for, once you load the website simply click on the the little page icon next to the URL in the browser window (or the lock symbol if the site has a SSL certificate) and you’ll be brought up a window with two options. Permissions and Connections select the first option called Permissions and you should get a screen similar to what’s below:

On this screen you can micromanage the permissions of the site to your hearts content! Google allows you to control everything from something as simple as images to more modern items like Location and Notifications.

The best part of this system is it appears to be (for now anyways) a site by site setup. Meaning you can control the permissions per URL and they are remembered the next time you visit. While the average user could careless about this system from a technical standpoint I think this is just what we needed. Rather than relying on articles and tests from experts that say “Yep, this browser is really secure!” we now can actually get our hands in and tweak the security a little bit by disabling things such as javascript, popups, images, and location tracking on sites that are less than reputable.

Just another reason to love Chrome!