Safe Browsing on Google Chrome adds real-time protection against malicious sites

Google says it is improvement default Safe Browsing mode Chrome to offer better protection against malicious sites. Until now, this mode used a locally stored list to check if a site or file is dangerous. The list is updated every 30 to 60 minutes, but Google says a malicious website is only around for 10 minutes on average.

To combat this, Google uses Safe Browsing Improved protection mode check sites in real-time with a server-side list of known dangerous sites. Advanced protection mode is enabled, but Google found that these real-time checks offer “significant value,” so it’s bringing them into the default version of Safe Browsing.

The company notes that Safe Browsing is used on more than 5 billion devices, and it helps protect against phishing, malware, and unwanted apps. The mode estimates north of 10 billion URLs and files a day. Every day, Chrome displays more than 3 million warnings to users about potential threats through this feature. However, Google estimates that real-time URL checks will help it prevent 25 percent more phishing attempts.

Google says that Safe Browsing takes privacy into account because it doesn’t share the URLs of the sites you visit with the company. Chrome says this feature uses hashing and encryption. The privacy server removes any details that could identify the user before forwarding the encrypted hash prefixes to the Safe Browsing server to check a list of deprecated sites.

The company still recommends users to adopt Advanced protection mode as it provides additional protection. The Safe Browsing option only checks the list of sites that are already known to be unsafe. Advanced protection looks at additional factors and uses machine learning to identify risky sites that Safe Browsing has not yet confirmed are potentially harmful. Newly created sites and sites that mask their true behavior may not be immediately caught by Safe Browsing’s detection systems.

The new Safe Browsing feature is now available in the latest desktop and iOS versions of Chrome. It will come to the Android app later this month.

Meanwhile, Google said it recently updated Chrome Password verification feature on iOS. In addition to alerting you of stolen passwords, it will now alert you of weak and reused credentials.

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