Browsers are a wonderful thing. They enable access to the web. What would we do without them? But, as I’m sure you are aware, the web is also filled with threats and opportunities for skilful and ill-intended individuals to take advantage of vulnerabilities.
Service providers like Google whose investment depends on online safety have created a number of technologies that support the outcome of a safe web. And we don’t have to pay for them (at least not directly). Lucky us! Most of these technologies and processes run in the background without us even knowing.
Here are 2 of them…
We all use internet browsers. And 63% of us use the Google Chrome browser. That’s a lot of people!
So, it’s in Google’s best interest to ensure that the Internet space is safe. Thus, came the creation of ‘Safe Browsing’, which Google claim serves over 3 billion internet users worldwide.
Safe Browsing is a technology that crawls through websites looking for infections. Once Google’s technology discovers a website that is infected Google notifies the webmaster and supports them in diagnosing the issue. The service then notifies all visitors to the site that proceeding may be harmful. Safe Browsing technology also collects lists of malicious websites within a database, a sort of ‘blacklist’.
Chrome isn’t the only browser to use Google’s ‘Safe Browsing’ technology. The Safari browser and Firefox browser also use Google’s database of blacklisted sites.
The service has evolved since it’s creation in 2007, where it was initially designed to prevent phishing, to include malware and social engineering on both desktop and mobile devices.
Safe Browsing is active within the Google Play store protecting users from malicious downloads and also powers Verify Apps protecting users who download apps from outside of the Google Play store.
Sandboxing is a layer of security provided by Google on their browser. Sandboxing isolates processes occurring within the browser so as to prevent malicious processes from spreading. If you have two tabs open in your browser and one infected website open in one of those tabs then Sandboxing ensures that it won’t spread to the second. The malicious process should be isolated within the tab. Each tab and process operate within a contained area.