Google Safe Browsing and Protecting Yourself
The internet is full of many great things and can be an excellent source of information. Sadly, just like in the pre-internet world, there are those who misuse it and are out to steal people’s personal information. Safe Browsing is a feature that Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox all offer. It protects you from phishing, malware, and downloads that are harmful to your PC.
Safe Browsing is a security measure that is constantly updating itself with new websites that go onto its list. Every time you visit a page, it is checked against this list. When you are on a site that made it to the list, you get a warning from your browser.
Naturally, these warnings will only help you when the pages you visit appear on Google’s list. However, most phishing attacks will only last for a few hours. That’s why Google Chrome now has the ability to analyze the properties of every page you visit so it can determine if it is potentially dangerous.
This information does not get shared with Google, but is handled locally on your PC. The suspicious website has to reach a higher level of suspicion before Chrome reports it to Google and lets Google decide whether or not to add it to the list.
When it comes to malicious downloads, they offer a real challenge due to being hidden inside programs that make them hard to detect. The way Chrome handles this is by checking the executable download files against a list of known good publishers and files. It basically sends the info to Google, where it is checked against a catalog of reputable publishers and websites, and undergoes analysis. If there is possible danger, Google will send that info to Chrome which in turn will give you a warning.
Internet Explorer: Enhanced Protection
Sadly, Google Safe Browsing will not protect you against viruses. It only guards against phishing attacks. There is, however, a Google Safe Browsing extension (Enhanced Protection feature) that can strengthen your protection. It sends encrypted URLs that you visit along with some bits of information concerning the site’s content to Google and lets Google analyze it.
When this feature is “enabled,” the URL of any site you visit is securely sent to Google to be evaluated. Along with this, there will also be a really condensed version of the content of that page so Google could compare the similarities between the authentic and forged pages.
When “disabled”, the feature sends no information Google unless it is one of those sites that Google has already designated as unsafe. Keep in mind that by enabling Enhanced Protection, you are giving Google Safe Browsing access to the most updated fraud information regarding every page you visit.
Internet Explorer: InPrivate mode
With the InPrivate Browsing feature, you can surf the internet without leaving any trail. This gives you, the user, a way to select what information you will share while browsing. With this feature enabled, new cookies do not get stored, and your temporary files are automatically deleted once your InPrivate Browsing closes. The cookies will be kept in the memory so your pages are working properly, but they are cleared when the browser is closed.
The Temporary Internet Files will be stored on the disk. That way your pages will work properly and they will be cleared when the browser is closed. Your history, form and auto-complete data, and passwords do not get stored.
The best thing you can do is to take the time to study the Safe Browsing for your browser of choice. Learn how to enable and disable it and how they function. In the world we live in, online security is something everybody needs to learn about. There are excellent tools available, but they will only work if you know how to use them correctly. Do some homework and protect yourself against malicious attacks.