Chrome makes Android a tiny bit safer thanks to Safe Browsing

Android is often seen as the wild wild west of the mobile computing world, thanks to its open nature, slow or non-existent updates and potential for being infected by malware. But Google Alphabet is making its OS a tiny bit safer today with Safe Browsing on mobile Chrome.

Safe Browsing is a tool that’s available on the desktop version of Chrome which checks sites and links against a database of known threats. That database is constantly being updated as new malicious websites are discovered, and users get a notification telling them about potential dangers when browsing.

And now that same technology is available on the mobile version of Chrome, starting with version 46. Users on Android might see a familiar prompt if they try to navigate to a known malicious website, telling them to stay clear of danger.

Apparently, one of the big problems with bringing Safe Browsing to mobile was making sure that users’ networks and data weren’t used up haphazardly. In other words, Alphabet didn’t want Android users to suddenly find out they’ve been using a whole lot more data just checking for security threats. So the team had to crack this problem first, by employing a lot of compression algorithms and prioritizing threats by severity, location and other factors.

Luckily, all that hard work seems to have paid off, and Android folks who use Chrome should find their mobile OS just a bit more secure going forward.

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