Google today announced the launch of a new and improved secure browse feature that provides real-time protection against known malicious websites and downloads.
Since 2007, Google has been offering safe browsing to protect users from websites and files containing malware, to display phishing sites or to attempt to install malicious files.
Since its launch, many browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari have used this security feature to protect their users from online threats.
How Safe Browsing Works
Google Chrome uses safe browsing by downloading lists of known malicious websites and storing them locally. When a user visits a website or downloads a file, Chrome checks the URL for consistency with local secure browse databases and blocks it if it is known to be malicious.
When you visit URLs that appear in local lists, your browser will send hashed partial URL fingerprints back to Google to confirm that they are malicious.
If this is the case, Google will display the warning in interstitial mode, as shown below
The problem with safe browsing is that new malicious websites and downloads are constantly being created and outdated safe browsing lists, stored locally, can ignore new threats.
The Safe Browsing API Block List is an existing security protocol that protects billions of devices worldwide. Every day Safe Browsing discovers thousands of new unsafe websites and adds them to the API block list used in the web industry. Chrome checks the URL of every website you visit or download from a local list that is updated approximately every 30 minutes. Increasingly, some complex phishing sites are sneaking into a 30-minute update window and changing domains very quickly, said Google in an ad.
Advanced Protection for Safe Navigation is designed to address these shortcomings and improve protection.
Enhanced security display provides real-time protection
With the enhanced version of Safe Browsing Protection, users of Chrome can enjoy real-time protection when browsing and downloading files.
With this feature, Chrome transfers additional information to Google Safe Browsing when you visit the site or download a file to check URLs for malicious activity.
However, using this feature involves a small privacy sacrifice, as Chrome also sends a small number of suspicious pages and downloads to detect new threats targeting you and other users of Chrome.
We also inform you that if you are logged into Chrome and are using the Advanced Secure Browsing feature, the transmitted information will temporarily contact your Google Account to determine if an attack has occurred on your browser or account.
If you are signed in to Chrome, this information will be temporarily linked to your Google Account. We do this so that if an attack on your browser or secure browse account is detected, we can tailor our protection to your situation. This way we can provide the most accurate protection without unnecessary warnings. After a short period of time Safe Browsing anonymizes this data so that it is no longer linked to your account, Google reports.
If you are willing to donate certain display data for a short period of time for better protection, enhanced secure browsing is an option you should activate.
With today’s release of Chrome 83, users can enable an enhanced secure screen saver by going to Chrome:/Settings/Security and selecting it.
This feature is brand new and currently applies to Chrome 83 users.
If you cannot access the Chrome://Settings/Security page, please wait while the function is available to everyone.