Although Google is best known for search and ad businesses, it has never for once refrained from protecting over a billion desktop users from phishing sites, malicious downloads, malware, and unwanted software which could wreck havoc on personal computers and imperil users’ personal information.
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Starting from today, Google is extending its protection to Chrome browser users using Android mobile devices. This new protection will be automatically turned on for millions of Chrome users on Android – starting with version 8.1.
By default, all Android Chrome mobile devices are now protected, and you only need to go to Chrome Settings > Privacy menu, to confirm that Safe Browsing is now activated and running on your device. This will enable Google’s Chrome to notify you when you’re about to visit dangerous sites or about to download malicious apps.
While Google’s Play Store and the Android platform have stepped up detection technology to deal with malicious apps and dangerous sites, they have not been too effective at providing protection to mobile devices when they are about to visit phishing sites – as they have done with desktop users.
The reason for this is because mobile devices consume money to obtain data for browsing; the speed of mobile data is lower to those of Wi-Fi; and the quality of cellular connectivity is not equal in most parts of the world, so getting the right amount of data needed for a device to obtain protection is quite tricky.
In order to provide effective Safe Browsing protection for mobile devices against phishing sites, Google engineers have to be aware that network bandwidth and battery life of mobile device users are at risk, so they rethought the best way to save users’ battery and data while providing the most protection against malicious sites trying to invade mobile devices.
Eventually, they came up with the idea of sending short updates or notifications through the device of users to notify them of any possible attacks.
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“Together with the Android Security team, we made the software on the device extra stingy with memory and processor use, and careful about minimizing network traffic,” the Google team said. “All of these details matter to us; we must not waste our users’ data plans, or a single moment of their battery life.”