Google is already pouring tons of resources into helping us stay safe while we surf the web with measures like Safe Browsing for Chrome, and the company only recently introduced an enhanced version of this tool. It's widely available on desktops already, but it's only slowly rolling out on Android. If you want to get your hands on Enhanced Safe Browsing right away, there are two flags that will bring it to you.
To get access to the new security feature, head to chrome://flags and look for "safe browsing." You need to activate these two flags:
Once enabled, head to settings and look for the new Privacy and security section replacing the Privacy only entry of old. In there, you'll find a new Safe Browsing UI that lets you choose between standard and enhanced protection. Like on the current stable desktop version, you can select your preferred level right here, but you can also tap the arrow next to both entries to learn more about the options.
Left: New safe browsing section in settings. Middle: Standard protection. Right: Enhanced protection.
The difference boils down to more proactive features in enhanced protection: The standard version only checks URLs with a pre-created list of unsafe sites regularly updated by Google, while the new mode additionally sends unknown URLs to Google's servers to test them in real time, helping protect you from sites that quickly change their addresses to evade the company's other protection measures. If you're signed in, the data is temporarily saved to your Google account to combat possible parallel phishing attacks on other devices or services. Google says that this new measure increases security by about 20% on desktops and 25% on mobile.
In everyday use, the only difference between standard and enhanced protection you'll see is the lack of a sharing option for the latter when you hit a malicious site. That's because you already agree to send suspicious links to Google by default, so there's no need for an option asking you to do as much.
Left: Standard protection. Right: Enhanced protection.
It's a bummer that Google is rolling out the new feature so slowly, but luckily, Chrome is one of the few products where you can force your way into a/b tests via flags. You can get the latest version on the Play Store or APK Mirror.
- Gurkanwal Singh