Microsoft has launched Windows Defender Browser Protection for Google’s Chrome browser via an extension. Anyone can download the extension now, adding an extra layer of protection to block malicious websites. The extension, which is free, alerts users when they attempt to load a dangerous website and directs them back toward safety.
The new extension offers Chrome users the same protection Microsoft baked into its own Edge browser. The company points toward an NSS Labs 2017 Web Browser Security report citing Edge’s superiority over Chrome and Firefox when it comes to phishing protection. According to the report, Edge protects against 99% of attacks, whereas Chrome protects against 87%.
Phishing attacks are easy to miss, and contrary to popular belief, they don’t all arrive via email. Microsoft points out that someone may, for example, mistype the URL for their bank’s website and instead get a phishing website designed to look identical.
When the user, who is unaware of the mistake, enters their login credentials, the information is exposed to hackers who can then access the account without permission. The Windows Defender browser extension will help users avoid this by alerting them to potential attacks.
The extension will also monitor for email-based phishing attacks. Microsoft maintains a list of known malicious URLs, which it constantly updates, and uses it to check any link the user attempts to click. Assuming the clicked link is on the list, the extension shows a red screen with a warning about the risk.
The extension can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store now.