Google Chrome fans have been put on alert as one useful tool will soon be no more.
Google Chrome is without a doubt the most popular internet browser in the world right now.
NetMarketShare stats for the whole of last year show Google Chrome as having a staggering 58.90 per cent chunk of the internet browser marketplace.
Its nearest rival, Mozilla’s FireFox, has a 13.29 per cent share while Internet Explorer is on 13 per cent.
Microsoft’s newer Edge browser, which is bundled in with Windows 10, lags behind with a 3.78 per cent market share.
These stats underline how Chrome’s crown as the world’s most popular internet browser is undisputed.
And its users have been alerted that one popular and useful feature will soon be shut down.
On Friday January 12 2018 the search engine giant started phasing out its parental controls feature.
The Google Chrome Supervised Users feature was first launched back in beta in 2013.
The feature allowed parents to block their children from visiting certain websites and also look through their son or daughter’s browser history.
SafeSearch could also be enabled for filtering Google Search results.
However, Google has now revealed that the Supervised Users feature for Chrome will be ‘depreciated’.
For mums and dads worried about letting their children browse the internet unsupervised, Google are working on a new parental control tool.
But this will only be launched later this year, TechCrunch reported.
In an e-mail sent to users of the parental control tool, Google said: “We’ve learned a lot in these four years, and heard feedback about how we can improve the experience for you and your children.
“Based on this feedback, we are working on a new set of Chrome OS supervision features specifically for the needs of families to launch later this year.”
Users of the Google Chrome parental controls will notice a number of changes this month.
From January 12, they will no longer be able to create new accounts or add new users.
And from January 15, you will no longer be able to change existing settings for supervised users.
In their e-mail, Google pointed people towards Family Link.
This is a new programme that lets users create Google accounts for children and manage their browsing experience in Google Chrome on Android devices.
But this feature only helps with mobile devices, whereas Google Chrome’s Supervised Users tool was meant for desktop users.
Family Link is also at the moment only available in the US, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
The news comes after Google Chrome users were put on alert about an update that will be pushed out soon to address a recently discovered vulnerability.
On January 23 2018 the search engine giant will roll out Google Chrome version 64.
The big upcoming update will address the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, which are recently discovered vulnerabilities that affect a host of major CPUs.
Nearly all computers worldwide, and many other devices like smartphones, have been exposed to the security gaps leaving them vulnerable to hacker attacks.
Researchers discovered the vulnerabilities in the central processing units, which could allow privately stored data on computers to be hacked.
It’s important to note so far no data breaches have been reported.
But there are concerns that now it’s been made public the bugs could be taken advantage of by nefarious parties.
The Meltdown security risk affects laptops, desktop computers and internet servers with Intel chips.
While Spectre affects some chips made by Intel, ARM and AMD that are found in smartphones, tablets and computers.
The bugs could allow hackers to read sensitive information stored on affected device such as passwords or credit card data.