Google Chrome For macOS Gains Enhanced Safe Browsing Malware Protection

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Mac users that prefer to browse the Internet with Google Chrome (instead of Safari) can now sleep more peacefully at night. Google’s “Safe Browsing” is working to increase its protection of computers running macOS.

Google is now focusing more on macOS-specific malware and unwanted software. The most common abuses are unwanted ad injection and manipulation of Chrome user settings. macOS users will start to see more warnings when they navigate to dangerous websites or download questionable files.

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Developers are able to make sure their users maintain control of Chrome settings through the recently released Chrome Settings API for Mac. Developers can modify home pages, search providers, and startup pages in the extension manifest. Certain values can be customized and various properties can be overridden in this program.

The Settings Overrides API will be the only way of making changes to Chrome settings on macOS. Only extensions hosted in the Chrome Web Store are allowed to make changes to Chrome settings. Users will be warned about software that tries to modify their Chrome settings without using the API starting on March 31st, 2017.

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Safe Browsing was launched in 2007 to protect users from phishing attacks. The software has grown to include protection of web-based threats like malware, unwanted software, and social engineering attacks. Google claims that its currently protects 2 billion devices. The software is free and publicly available to developers.

Safe Browsing also posts a public transparency report. Users can examine graphs concerning the number of unsafe websites and malware Google has detected over the years. Users can find graphs concerning notifications to webmasters and maps that demonstrate malware distribution. The website also shows what companies Google uses to aid in their scanning process and the results of these individual firms. If you are uncertain about an URL, you can check its safety status on the Safe Browsing site.

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