[REVIEW] Google Safe Browsing Protection
Google’s livelihood depends on people’s trust in the Web. So Google devotes enormous resources to keeping the Web a safe place to explore. Collectively, these resources are called Google Safe Browsing. Let’s see how Safe Browsing works, and how it protects your web browsing, email, and downloads -- even if you don't use Google services...
What is Google Safe Browsing?
Safe Browsing begins in the browser's address bar, or the “omnibox” as Google calls the space at the top of the Chrome browser where URLs appear. Google uses “omnibox” to denote that the box does much more than merely show the address of the web page you are currently viewing and accept addresses of pages you wish to fetch. The omnibox also tells you whether it is safe to visit the page in question, among other things.
Whether a web server provides a connection encrypted with the SSL protocol is one indication of safety. SSL obscures the data that passes between you and a server so that, for instance, your credit card data is not visible to casual eavesdroppers. When the current connection is secured with SSL, an icon shaped like a lock appears to the left of “https” in the omnibox.
If a server does not use SSL, the words “not secure” will appear in the omnibox and there will be no lock icon. The stigma of that “not secure” label puts pressure on webmasters to do the right thing. If you want to see a harmless example of this, visit http://neverssl.com.
Safe Browsing also protects users by warning them when they request a page that could do them harm. “Harm” could be a phishing attack in which a page tricks the user into divulging sensitive data or clicking a link that triggers a malware download. Malicious sites can even download malware in background without the user’s knowledge.
Safe Browsing recognizes such hazards and blocks malicious links while warning the user, effectively, “you don’t want to go there.” It is possible to override such a warning, but in most cases that is a bad idea. Even if you have visited a page many times without a problem, it may have been infected with malware recently.
Often, the webmasters of compromised pages do not know that their pages have been compromised. Google Safe Browsing includes programs for webmasters that monitor a site and send alerts if anything suspicious happens. Google gives webmasters the steps they should take to recover from an infection, along with examples of the malicious code that was used by the intruders. A great many people are very grateful to Google Safe Browsing.
Not Limited to Google Products
In addition to alerting users to unsafe sites in the Chrome browser, the Safe Browsing initiative also extends protection to links in your Gmail messages, the Chrome Web Store, and the Google Play app store for Android devices. And it's not limited to Google Products. Apple's Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Vivaldi browsers also use the Google Safe Browsing database to protect their users from phishing and malware.
Over three billion devices are protected every day by Safe Browsing, according to Google. That figure includes your phone or desktop PC or laptop, plus the servers that send you my pages and emails. That’s a lot of responsibility that Google handles almost invisibly.
In their daily scans, Google flags thousands of unsafe or malicious sites. Many of them are legitimate websites that have been compromised by bad actors. (And I don't mean Sean Penn or Charlie Sheen.) Google offers a Safe Browsing site status lookup tool where you can enter the address of a website to see if it's safe to visit. The Safe Browsing Transparency Report gives insights into how many unsafe sites are discovered each week, the types of hazards that are identified, and a global map showing the primary sources of malware distribution.
“People should expect that the web is safe and easy to use by default,” said Emily Schechter, Chrome Security product manager, in a recent interview with Wired magazine. ”You shouldn’t have to be a security expert to browse the web, you shouldn’t have to know what phishing is, you shouldn’t have to know what malware is. You should just expect that software is going to tell you when something has gone wrong. That’s what Safe Browsing is trying to do.” Thank you, Emily and Safe Browsing.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Oct 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [REVIEW] Google Safe Browsing Protection (Posted: 12 Oct 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved