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Chrome is getting a new security feature on iOS before Android

The feature should arrive on Android later this month.
By

Published onMarch 14, 2024

Google Chrome logo stock photo 1
TL;DR
  • The standard mode of Safe browsing on Chrome for desktop and iOS will now check sites against Google’s server-side list of known bad sites in real-time.
  • This functionality will come to Android later this month.
  • Password Checkup on iOS now flags weak and reused passwords, in addition to flagging compromised passwords.

Every day more and more harmful websites pop up on the web. However, Chrome users are protected from most malware, phishing, and other cyberattacks thanks to the browser’s Safe Browsing feature. That feature is about to get a nice boost that was previously reserved for the enhanced version, but it will initially only be available for desktop and iOS.

Today, Google announced that the standard version of Safe Browsing on desktop and iOS will start checking sites against the company’s server-side list of known bad sites in real-time. Before now, the standard version used a list that was stored on your device to check if a site or file was malicious. This list would be updated every 30 to 60 minutes.

As the tech giant explains, the problem with the prior method is that not all personal devices have the resources necessary to maintain this growing list. Additionally, these devices may not apply updates to that list at the frequency required to be fully protected. Then there’s the problem of the average lifespan of malicious sites, which tend to exist for less than 10 minutes.

In contrast, Google’s server-side list can handle the growth and is updated as soon as a new threat is discovered. By having Chrome check this server-side list in real time, the firm states it expects to block 25% more phishing attempts.

Google points out that this new capability uses encryption and other privacy-enhancing techniques. As a result, it claims that no one, including Google, knows what website you’re visiting.

Although this feature is coming to desktop and iOS first, it will eventually come to Android as well. The company doesn’t give a specific date, but says it should arrive on Android later this month.

Password checkup

At the same time, Chrome’s Password Checkup feature is also getting an update on iOS. In addition to flagging compromised passwords, it will now also flag weak and reused passwords.

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