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Google improves Chrome's security with real-time URL protection via Safe Browsing and alerts for compromised passwords on iOS

Google has recently introduced a groundbreaking update to Google Safe Browsing, elevating URL protection for Chrome users on both desktop and iOS platforms. This update also brings new password protections to Chrome on iOS, enhancing overall security and privacy measures for users.

latest update aims to offer real-time warnings against phishing attempts, malware, and unwanted software
latest update aims to offer real-time warnings against phishing attempts, malware, and unwanted software


With Safe Browsing already safeguarding over 5 billion devices worldwide, the latest update aims to offer real-time warnings against phishing attempts, malware, and unwanted software. By transitioning to real-time checks, Google anticipates a significant boost in security, blocking approximately 25% more phishing attempts compared to the previous system.

Previously, Safe Browsing relied on a locally stored list, updated every 30 to 60 minutes. However, Google's research indicated that malicious sites often emerged and disappeared within minutes. To address this, the new real-time protection employs encryption and privacy-enhancing techniques, ensuring user privacy during browsing.

Previously, Safe Browsing relied on a locally stored list, updated every 30 to 60 minutes
Previously, Safe Browsing relied on a locally stored list, updated every 30 to 60 minutes


Here's a simplified breakdown of how the new real-time protection works:

  • Chrome encrypts and obfuscates the URL before sending it to a privacy server.
  • The privacy server removes potential user identifiers and forwards the encrypted data to the Safe Browsing server.
  • Safe Browsing decrypts the data and matches it against its database, issuing a warning if a match is found.

Chrome encrypts and obfuscates the URL before sending it to a privacy server
Chrome encrypts and obfuscates the URL before sending it to a privacy server


To maintain user privacy, Google collaborated with Fastly to operate an Oblivious HTTP (OHTTP) privacy server. This ensures that neither Safe Browsing nor Google has access to users' IP addresses during the URL checks. Additionally, Chrome encrypts the data before transmission, guaranteeing that browsing activity remains confidential.

Despite the added latency from real-time checks, Chrome implements various optimizations to ensure browsing speed. These include caching known-safe URLs and implementing fallback mechanisms for slow requests.

For users seeking advanced security measures, Google recommends enabling the Enhanced protection mode of Safe Browsing. This mode utilizes cutting-edge machine learning models to protect against newly created or cloaked malicious sites, along with additional safeguards against suspicious files and Chrome extensions.

Furthermore, Password Checkup on iOS now offers alerts for compromised, weak, and reused passwords, empowering users to enhance their password security. Users can conveniently check their passwords at any time via Chrome Settings, further strengthening overall password protection on iOS devices.

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