Google’s Safe Browsing goes mobile: Comes to Chrome for Android

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chrome for Android gets Google Safe Browsing.

Google’s Safe Browsing technology is now enabled by default on Android to protect mobile Chrome users from accessing phishing sites and web pages that harbor malware.

Launched eight years ago, the feature has protected a billion desktop users from malware, unwanted software, and social engineering sites according to Google. Until now, Safe Browsing was only available to desktop users, as well as for Chrome users on Android who turned on Google’s optional data compression service.

And that might mean only sending a brief update to stop people from unwittingly ending up at the riskiest sites known to Google, particularly phishing sites. Google is even relying on compression in order to keep data small — because Google doesn’t want to use up people’s mobile data plans unnecessarily. “We hunt badness on the Internet so that you don’t discover it the hard way, and our protection should never be an undue burden on your networking costs or your device’s battery. As more of the world relies on the mobile web, we want to make sure you’re as safe as can be, as efficiently as possible,” Noé Lutz, Nathan Parker, and Stephan Somogyi of Google’s Chrome and Safe Browsing teams wrote in a blog post today. Google has been pretty smart about implementing some of their Safe Browsing features, both the Google Security and Compression teams have been involved in the implementation. As for why it’s taken so long, Google says providing protection on a mobile device is much more hard, largely because it needs a lot of data to keep its lists accurate and up to date.

For those unfamiliar, Google Safe Browsing presents users with a red warning screen if they attempt to open a site that is deemed dangerous in some way. The page offers a warning about the possible dangers that lie ahead, and gives users the option of going “back to safety” or proceeding to the website anyway. Because of the data concerns, Google says it will send warnings about the “riskiest sites” first, ensuring those in emerging markets and slower service regions still get the message.

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