Google this week announced the availability of Google Safe Browsing technology in its Chrome browser for Android, a feature meant to keep users safe from malware, unwanted software, and social engineering sites.
The Internet giant has integrated Safe Browsing in Google Play Services version 8.1, and Chrome for Android version 46 and up is the first application to take advantage of the security enhancement. Users can head to Settings > Privacy menu in Chrome on their Android devices to check whether Safe Browsing is enabled, the company explained in a blog post.
The feature has been available on Chrome for desktop for a long time, informing users when they were about to access a dangerous site. With Safe Browsing available on Android, users can now be warned on the risk of accessing a flagged website, such as social engineering, phishing, and other malicious web pages.
According to Google, the main challenge of providing such protection on a mobile device is related to data size, as mobile data costs more and is delivered at lower speeds. With network bandwidth and battery being the most valuable resources on a mobile device, the company decided to break threats by geo location and to send information to protect devices only to the regions targeted by the attacks.
Moreover, the company decided to deliver information on the riskiest sites first, to ensure the data is more relevant, and also tried to compress it as much as possible, to ensure data transfer savings. The software running on devices uses fewer resources and minimizes network traffic, in an attempt to ensure longer battery life.
“Some social engineering attacks only happen in certain parts of the world, so we only send information that protects devices in the geographic regions they’re in. We also make sure that we send information about the riskiest sites first: if we can only get a very short update through, as is often the case on lower-speed networks in emerging economies, the update really has to count,” the company said.