Hey Guys,

If you are using Google Chrome, you can turn on enhanced protection which is the most substantial level of protection that Google offers. It is worth switching on and only takes a minute. To better understand how the Enhanced Protection mode in Safe Browsing provides the most substantial level of defence, it’s helpful to know what is offered in Standard Protection. Here is everything you need to know as well as instructions on how to turn it on:

Standard Protection

Enabled by default in Chrome, Standard Protection was designed to be privacy preserving at its core by using hash-based checks. This has been effective at protecting users by warning millions of users about dangerous websites. However, hash-based checks are inherently limited as they rely on lookups to a list of known bad sites. We see malicious actors moving fast and constantly evolving their tactics to avoid detection using sophisticated techniques. To counter this, we created a stronger and more customized level of protection that we could offer to users. To this end, we launched Enhanced Protection in 2020, which builds upon the Standard Protection mode in Safe Browsing to keep you safer.

Enhanced Protection

This is the fastest and strongest level of protection against dangerous sites and downloads that Safe Browsing offers in Chrome. It enables more advanced detection techniques that adapt quickly as malicious activity evolves. As a result, Enhanced Protection users are phished 20-35% less than users on Standard Protection. A few of these features include:

  • Real time URL checks: By checking with Google Safe Browsing’s servers in real-time before navigating to an uncommon site you’re visiting, Chrome provides the best protection against dangerous sites and uses advanced machine learning models to continuously stay up to date.
  • File checks before downloading: In addition to Chrome’s standard checks of downloaded files, Enhanced Protection users can choose to upload suspicious files to be scanned by Google Safe Browsing’s full suite of malware detection technology before opening the file. This helps catch brand new malware that Safe Browsing has not scanned before or dangerous files hosted on a brand new site.
  • More advanced vision-based phishing detection: To better detect phishing and dangerous sites for Enhanced Protection users, Chrome performs basic client-side checks on the web page to determine if it is suspicious. For pages deemed suspicious, Chrome sends a small set of visual features derived from the page to Google’s Safe Browsing servers for additional phishing classification using computer vision. This helps Chrome more accurately recognize dangerous sites, and can warn other users before they visit the site.

User data privacy and security

By opting into Enhanced Protection, you are sharing additional data with Safe Browsing systems that allow us to offer better and faster security both for you and for all users online. Ensuring user privacy is of utmost importance for us and we go through great lengths to anonymize as much of the data as possible. This data is only used for security purposes and retained for a short time. As threats evolve we will continuously add and improve our existing protections for Enhanced Protection users. These features go through extensive privacy reviews to ensure that your privacy continues to be prioritized while still providing you with the highest level of security possible.

How to enable

Safe Browsing’s Enhanced Protection is available for all desktop platforms, Android and iOS.

  • Open Chrome settings
  • Go to Privacy and Security
  • Go to Safe Browsing
  • Select Enhanced Protection

That’s it! Let me know if you have any problems or need help.

All the best,

Max Roberts,
Incognito Privavy Care Team