Google Launches New Security Alert For Chrome That Warns Users About Unsafe URLs

Search engine giant Google has just given the green light for a new feature on Chrome that keeps users safe from the growing rise of phishing attempts.

The company mentioned how it’s updating the means through which the Chrome browser highlights websites that serve as a great threat to the user, there and then. Moreover, Google added that this would block up to 25% more hazardous attempts carried out by threat actors. But at the same time, it wouldn’t compromise on factors like user privacy.

The feature is currently up for grabs in the Standard Protection designed to keep users safe online while browsing across desktops as well as on iOS devices. But Android users don’t need to worry as it’s coming to them soon as well, probably later in March.

To make the most of this, simply ensure you’ve got it enabled beforehand by hopping on over to the Settings feature and then clicking on Privacy and Security tabs. After selecting Safe Browsing, you get several kinds of protection on offer. This includes enhanced, standard, or zero.

Previously, the option for Standard Protection was not great as announced by Google. Whenever users went to the page on the website, this would force Google to see through its backend if the feature was present on the unsafe list for websites.

The issue here has to do with the fact that it keeps getting updated every half an hour and one hour while getting stored on the local device. Meanwhile, we also see unsafe websites present for 10 minutes or less. And to be frank, there’s a huge list of such websites that cannot be stored on any given device at a time. Hence, this paved the way for a major security threat online.

Remember as days go by, more and more threat actors continue to be more sophisticated and that is why experts feel greater protection is required now than ever. These would adapt quicker to the wide number of threats that they continue to defend against online, the company added.

Greater data protection on offer would provide greater coverage but this forces users to provide even more information. However, Google’s latest approach in this regard continues to be Standard Protection which gives similar safety and protection and doesn’t put privacy at risk as the compromising point.

So how does it work exactly? Google says that after Chrome navigates across web pages, the search engine checks if there’s any URL that’s a threat. If not, the process of carrying out real-time checks gets activated.

After encrypting that URL, it converts that into full hashes which are 32 bytes, and that immediately shifts into a 4-byte variant. Then the hashes which are encrypted in nature go toward independent servers that are private in design and continue to be under the operations of a known cloud provider dubbed Fastly.

This would get rid of all kinds of personal identifiers like the user’s IP ID and shift that into another server dubbed Safe Browsing. It then goes into another giant pool arising from other users on Chrome so it’s more difficult to delineate the activities arising from a single person.

In the end, any prefixes it has met with get decrypted, and there would be a check to see if it’s on the list of dangerous URLs or not. The user would then be served a warning or an alert in this regard to steer clear beforehand.

While the thought of continuously being served a warning on a more frequent basis might be annoying to some, it certainly gives rise to greater protection in general. But if you’re really so bothered by this safety feature, feel free to switch that off by going to the settings section and turning off Safe Browsing.

Google also mentioned how the Enhanced variant for protection makes use of AI to block any kind of attack and gives rise to deeper file scans which provide more protection from a host of dangerous Chrome extensions.

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