Chrome for Android gets Google Safe Browsing

Google Safe Browsing is now available by default on Chrome for Android, lending the same protective features for mobile users that it has for those on desktop. This covers "hundreds of millions" of users, says Google; if you have Android, you probably already have the feature, no extra steps necessary. Those who want to make extra sure they have it, though, can head into Chrome's settings to see if it is enabled in the privacy menu.

According to Google, the Safe Browsing client is part of Google Play Services, and the first app to use it is Chrome version 46. Bringing Safe Browsing to mobile was harder than on desktop, though, with mobile data consumption being among the concerns. On the consumer end, mobile data costs money, and so the effect on data has to be minimal. As well, in many places mobile data speeds are slower than WiFi, adding to the data size considerations.

For those unfamiliar, Google Safe Browsing presents users with a red warning screen if they attempt to open a site that is deemed dangerous in some way. The page offers a warning about the possible dangers that lie ahead, and gives users the option of going "back to safety" or proceeding to the website anyway.

Because of the data concerns, Google says it will send warnings about the "riskiest sites" first, ensuring those in emerging markets and slower service regions still get the message. As well, the Android Security team worked to make sure Safe Browsing doesn't use any unnecessary power or memory, and keeps network traffic to a minimum.

SOURCE: Google Online Security Blog