Google Chrome is giving all users a major security boost - here's what you need to know

Google Chrome
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Google has announced plans to bring more Safe Browsing features to all Chrome users as it looks to give standard Secure Browsing users some Enhanced Safe Browsing functionality.

With the change, users of the popular web browser will now be protected against phishing and malware sites in real-time as they browse, helping to reduce the chances of an attack.

The update comes as part of Google’s celebrations of its browser’s 15th birthday, which also includes Material You redesigns and new generative AI functionalities.

Enhanced Safe Browsing for all

Previously, URLs visited on Chrome were checked against a local set of URLs known to be malicious. This list of dodgy websites is typically updated every 30 to 60 minutes, which is no longer frequently enough to keep up to date with modern attacks.

Today, Google says that the majority (60%) of phishing domains last for only 10 minutes, rendering them a real threat to Internet users.

As part of the update, Chrome will now check against a list of domains instantaneously rather than having to rely on dated lists, which the company hopes will see a 25% increase in protection from malware and phishing threats.

In its essence, this is a much more effective way of ironing out such threats, however BleepingComputer noted that some users may have concerns over the new feature, which shares all visited URLs with Google in order to cross-reference its database of dodgy domains. As mentioned above, the checks were previously handled locally.

The company said that the data sent for these purposes will not be used to power other features, including advertising, but it has already found itself in hot water over the way it’s replacing third-party cookies with its own APIs.

Google confirmed to TechRadar Pro in an email that Enhanced Safe Browsing will continue to be offered with features including deep scans for files, protection from malicious extensions, and indeed an enhanced version of real-time URL checks (due to the limitations of the standard Safe Browsing feature).

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!