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Microsoft Launches Windows Defender Extension for Chrome

Microsoft has rolled out a new Windows Defender Browser Protection extension to help Chrome users stay safe from malware and phishing websites.

Microsoft has rolled out a new Windows Defender Browser Protection extension to help Chrome users stay safe from malware and phishing websites.

Aimed at delivering real-time protection, the browser extension can prevent online threats such as links in phishing emails, as well as websites that trick users into downloading and installing malicious software.

The manner in which Windows Defender Browser Protection works is pretty straightforward: it checks the accessed websites against a list of malicious URLs, to ensure that users stay secure when navigating the Internet using Chrome.

Thus, whenever a user clicks on a malicious link in an email or ends up navigating to a website specifically designed to deceive victims into disclosing personal, financial, or other sensitive information, or which hosts malware, the new Chrome extension displays an alert.

“If the malicious link matches one on the list, Windows Defender Browser Protection will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful, giving you a clear path back to safety with one click,” Microsoft says.

The list of harmful sites known to Microsoft is constantly being updated, so that Windows Defender Browser Protection can keep users safe from newly discovered phishing and socially engineered malware sites.

The Chrome extension takes advantage of the same intelligence that powers Microsoft Edge’s protection capabilities, allowing users to add an extra layer of security when browsing online.

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Based on NSS Labs 2017 Web Browser Security Comparative Reports (which tested Chrome 60.0.3112.113, Edge 40.15063.0.0, and Firefox 55.0.3 running on Windows 10 Pro Enterprise), Microsoft Edge can deliver a much more efficient protection compared to Chrome and Firefox.

When measuring the browsers’ protection against phishing attacks, NSS Labs found that Edge could block 92.3% of phishing URLs, while Chrome’s rate was of 74.5% and Firefox fell behind at 61.1%. Furthermore, Edge blocked 99.5% of the Socially Engineered Malware (SEM) samples, Chrome blocked 87.5% of them, while Firefox only prevented 70.1% of samples.

The new Windows Defender Browser Protection extension is available through the Chrome Web Store.

Related: Chrome 66 Distrusts Older Symantec Certificates

Related: Microsoft Edge Tops Browser Protection Tests

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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