Enhanced Safe Browsing: New Real-Time Phishing and Malware Protection in Google Chrome

By Alex Passett September 08, 2023

Google (News - Alert) Chrome is, by a substantial margin, the king of the hill when it comes to global internet browser popularity. According to recent data from Demand Sage and Statista:

  • Chrome is the most-used web browser out there, with a global market share of 63.45%. And though this is technically down 1.23% from 2022, Chrome has held these high percentages since 2018. In 2017? 55.04%. Already massive, but it has just kept climbing.
  • In the U.S., Chrome holds 48.62% of the browser market. (In 2013, which seems less like a decade ago and more like a quarter-century ago for many of us, that percentage was 29.3%.) So, it’s like we said; Chrome’s been on the climb.
  • For mobile, specifically, Chrome holds 61.76% of the mobile browser market.
  • To put this in context for Apple (News - Alert) users (since Google Chrome is the second-most downloaded free Android app on the Google Play store, although many will say that number could be inflated on Google’s end), we can look at Safari’s market share of 20.48%. Still a big figure, but Chrome absolutely outmatches it.

Suffice it to say, both Chrome’s user base and its diverse functionalities have definitely snowballed over the last decade.

Unfortunately, so have cybersecurity threats.

Combatting such threats is no one-stop-shop type of approach; since attacks vary, so too must reliable solutions.

That’s why, as of news that broke late yesterday, Google announced a.) the depreciation of the previous Google Chrome Safe Browsing standard and b.) is moving everyone to its Enhanced Safe Browsing feature in the coming weeks.

Additional details below:

Safe Browsing has been a staple that Google has utilized since 2007, and it did work. It protected users from malicious websites that push malware or display phishing pages. However, new means of detecting and protecting Chrome enjoyers were necessary, so Google’s Enhanced Safe Browsing feature offers better real-time protection by double-checking links and sites against Google’s extensive cloud database.

The legacy version is out. The new version is in.

According to Google, this new layer of browser safety is being necessary to achieve due to “the Safe Browsing list only updating every 30-60 minutes, but 60% of all phishing domains last only 10 minutes.” This creates an unignorable gap that may render users unprotected from new tidal waves of malicious URLs.

“To block these dangerous sites the moment they launch,” one Google representative said, “we’re rolling out Enhanced Safe Browsing to all Chrome users so sites are real-time checked against Google’s known-bad sites. By shortening the time between the identification and prevention of a threat, we expect to see 25% improved protection from dangers associated with malware and phishing.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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