Google Pushes Gmail Popups To Enable Safer Browsing, Here's How It Works

google gmail pop up notification to enable safe browsing
Gmail users around the world have been getting pop-up notifications in the past few days prompting them to up their security with Enhanced Safe Browsing. This feature, which is enabled across all Google products with a simple toggle, enables real-time security scanning and will help protect you against phishing and malicious links, but there may be more than meets the eye.

The pop-up, which might appear above your inbox on Android or on the Web, alerts users that they could be getting “additional protection against phishing.” To get this, users have to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing by clicking the “Continue” button in the pop-up. This will take you to the “Enhanced Safe Browsing for your account” page in Google Account settings, where you can toggle the feature anytime.

alert google gmail pop up notification to enable safe browsing

Despite telling users to enable the feature, Google does not really explain what Enhanced Safe Browsing is. Digging a little deeper into the feature, though, one will find that the feature collects some data on URLs, downloads, browser extensions, system information, and “small samples of pages.” This data is then temporarily associated with one’s Google account for protection across all platforms.

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While extra protection in Gmail sounds like a good thing, there is concern that this is just one more Google dark pattern for data collection. As mentioned, Google could be more forthcoming with details on this feature. Moreover, if there is an option to have more protections for Gmail, why would that option need consent to be enabled?

At the end of the day, this feature is likely worthwhile to enable, even though Google is playing a little coy with it. Phishing attacks are getting more complex and, therefore, harder to spot, so any help you can get in your corner is good. If you wish to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing, you can do so in your Google account settings and be just a little safer.