Google wants to better protect its customers against phishing and other digital threats in Chrome and Gmail. That is why the search giant urges users to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing. What is it, and how do you activate it? We give you the answer to these questions.
Google promises ‘faster, proactive protection
You may have already seen the notification. As soon as you open your Gmail account to read new emails, you will see a window at the top asking you to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing.
On a support page, Google writes that it is a security measure that offers more protection against phishing and malware. Enhanced Safe Browsing automatically works in the background as soon as you use Google’s Chrome or Gmail web browsers. According to the internet company, it offers “faster, proactive protection” against rogue websites, downloads and extensions.
This is the difference between Safe Browsing and Enhanced Safe Browsing
Originally, Safe Browsing protected you from the dangers of the Internet by comparing website URLs against a list that was stored locally. This list was updated every half hour and supplemented with new entries. Developers of apps and web browsers took advantage of this list to improve user safety.At one point, hackers and cybercriminals bypassed Google’s update window. A spear-phishing attack or the infection of computers with a virus could still take place successfully in a short period of time.
What is Enhanced Safe Browsing?
Unlike the original security measure, Enhanced Safe Browsing provides real-time protection. The list of dangerous websites is constantly updated and warns you if you are about to visit a rogue site or download suspicious files. Google now also gives a signal if you want to download potentially dangerous Chrome extensions.
How do I turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing?
To protect your Gmail account from these threats, Google collects system information and takes a sample of your visited pages. What information it concerns exactly leaves Google in the middle. The tech giant says it uses this data to improve the security of Chrome, Gmail and other Google apps for you and everyone else on the Internet.
The easiest way to activate Enhanced Safe Browsing is to go to your Google MyAccount. Once logged in, you will find the ‘Security’ tab on the left. Scroll down until you see the option ‘Enhanced version of Safe Browsing for your account’. Pressing ‘Manage’ takes you to the slider to enable this option.By flipping the slider again, you disable Google’s new security option.
Google supports Passkey for Google account
It is not the first new security measure that Google is implementing this year. Since early May, users have been able to add a Passkey to their Google account. You no longer need a username, password or unique access code to log in.
Passkeys work as follows. First of all, you need to create a Passkey for the account where you want to apply it. This service provider generates the public key via its website or app. The private key is stored on your device and contains a pin code, fingerprint, face profile, unlock pattern or password.
To log in, your device submits an application request. The provider checks whether the private key of your account matches the public key known to the platform. If so, your request to log in will be approved.
Is it going too fast? In our background article ‘FIDO: can you log in securely without a password?’ we look closely at this security method.