Published: Wed, December 11, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Chrome Gets Built-In Password Checkup, Real-Time Phishing Protection

Chrome Gets Built-In Password Checkup, Real-Time Phishing Protection

Google says that this new system will offer up to 30% more protection than Chrome now offers.

Safe Browsing displays warning messages to users ahead of visiting unsafe websites and before downloading harmful applications. Previously, the company's predictive phishing protection would only alert you to a potential problem if Sync was enabled. This is part of Google's Safe Browsing feature, which maintains an ever-growing list of unsafe sites on the web.

"The list refreshes every 30 minutes, protecting 4 billion devices every day against all kinds of security threats, including phishing".

Google has announced that Chrome will now alert users when their information has been detected in a data breach.

The new real-time phishing protection feature works by examining "the URLs of pages visited with Safe Browsing's servers in real-time".

Google's Safe Browsing service warns users if they're visiting an unsafe website by checking a partial URL fingerprint (the first 32-bits of a SHA-256 hash) against a local blocklist updated every 30 minutes.

The first Google Chrome upgrade is probably the most important and powerful.

Google Chrome 79 is rolling out in the stable channel on all platforms this week, and as always, there are loads of new browser features.

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If you sign in to any website, Chrome sends a hashed copy of your entered username and password to Google. You must be signed in to your Google account in Chrome and have Sync turned on to benefit from this feature, however.

"If the website is not on the safe-list, Chrome checks the URL anonymously with Google (after dropping any username or password embedded in the URL) to find out if you're visiting a risky site", Google adds. From Google's data, it looks like there's roughly 1.75 million phishing sites being tracked on the list. Launched in 2017, this gives you a warning if you enter your Google account password into a website that's been suspected of phishing information.

Later this year, during October, Google integrated the Password Checkup feature directly into Google Accounts and made it available through the Google Password Manager at passwords.google.com.

The post goes on to note that this functionality can be controlled in Chrome Settings under Sync and Google Services.

Only the user is notified if their username and password are compromised.

Don't like this new feature?

The Google Security Blog has a detailed technical writeup of how this all works behind the scenes and it's interesting reading.

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