Threats to your personal data have become more common in recent years and are unlikely to subside. quick. The number of data breaches last year hit an all-time high with a 14% increase since last year . At this rate, data breaches could soon be as common as houseplants in millennial homes.
)Chrome User Protection by Google via Enhanced Security Browsing helps protect their personal data from malicious activity online. These additional protections were released in 2020 and updated last year. Google reports that people with these protections enabled are 35% less likely than others to fall victim to phishing scams.
While these protections do help keep you safer online, your privacy may be compromised. By enabling these protections, you can give Google access to more in-depth information about your browsing habits.
Here’s what you need to know about Chrome’s Enhanced Safe Browsing Protection.
How to turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing
These Protections are not turned on by default, which means you have to turn them on if you want extra security. Here’s how to open them.
1. Open Chrome
2. Click or tap the three dots
3. Tap or tapSettings
4. Click or tapPrivacy & Security
5. Click or tap safety.
6. On your computer, click Enhance Protect. On Android, tap Safe Browsing
Google has yet to bring Enhanced Safe Browsing to iOS, but that may change.
An important thing to note is that if you turn on these protections from one device, they do not carry over to your other devices. This means that if you want full coverage, you must turn on protection for all devices.
If you think Enhanced Safe Browsing is more of a hassle than it’s worth, you can follow the steps above and click or tap
Enhanced Safe Browsing benefits
If When you turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing protection, Chrome will check in real time whether the website you are about to visit may be a phishing website. These scans prevent users from accidentally giving their information to malicious actors, potentially saving them time and money.
When you want to download a new extension from the Chrome Web Store, enhanced Safe Browsing protection will let you know if the extension is trusted. Trusted extensions follow the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies.
Chrome also scans files before you download them to block suspicious files. If the file is risky but not obviously unsafe, Chrome will ask the user if they want to send the file to Google for a more thorough analysis. These scans and analyses take no more than a few minutes to complete, and it’s worth the extra care to keep you as safe as possible.
Google also scans usernames and passwords associated with data breaches to see if your information has been compromised. This can save you a lot of headaches and worries. Notifications from Google may warn you before you are accused of fraud.
Cons of Enhanced Safe Browsing
These protections are great, but they also have some drawbacks.
If you turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing, you will share more data, such as what you are downloading, with Google. If you’re signed in to Chrome, your Google Account is also temporarily linked to your browsing data. According to Google, this is to tailor protections to your specific situation, and this data is anonymized for a short period of time to protect users. However, anonymized data, including search history, can be linked to social media profiles using publicly available data, according to a study by Princeton University and Stanford University.
Enhanced Safe Browsing can also hurt developers. If you’re a new extension developer, you have to wait for Google to say your product can be trusted. Google requires new developers to comply with the Developer Program Policies within a few months before they can be marked as trusted. The policy could hurt new developers who depend on work income, and could deter talented developers who couldn’t wait those months.
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