Google's Safe Browsing goes mobile: Comes to Chrome for Android

After protecting more than one billion desktop Chrome users, Google is bringing its Safe Browsing service to Chrome for Android to detect and warn users about potentially malicious websites.

Google added another preventative measure to Android devices on Monday by bringing Google Safe Browsing to Chrome for Android.

Google Safe Browsing Chrome.png

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A desktop version of and API for Google Safe Browsing has been available for several years; back in 2012, Google reported more than 600 million web users were using the service at that time, while as of today that figure tops one billion users.

The software tool uses Google's service to protect against malware, phishing through social engineering and installation of unwanted software through websites.

Google keeps track of potentially "bad" sites and provides an in-browser warning if it suspects any foul play.

Google says that it added the Safe Browsing feature already through Google Play Services 8.1, which arrived on September 24.

The company is now making the function available in version 46 of Chrome for Android. It's enabled by default but if you don't want to use it, you can disable it under Chrome Settings, Privacy. Note that if you use Chrome's Data Saver function, you will be using Safe Browsing because it is integrated with the Data Saver that compresses information from the web before serving it up on your phone or tablet. Data

Google explains that it made the software "extra stingy with memory and processor use, and careful about minimizing network traffic."

Google also says that Safe Browsing on mobile protects privacy as good as it does on the desktop, although some have debated that issue in the past. Safe Browsing collects anonymous metrics to understand website behaviors and permissions so that the service works better for all users.