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Google Updating Safe Browsing to Find Malicious Software Disguised as Helpful Software

August 14, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer

The internet is a dangerous place thanks to many different ways viruses or malicious software can be downloaded. Sometimes, the software is disguised as something you may think you need. Google has done many things to help prevent malicious software from getting into your system through Safe Browsing options. Soon, Safe Browsing is going to get added security features that will even warn you when something looks good, but isn’t.

Google announced on their security blog that Safe Browsing will be expanding its coverage and the roll out will start next week. The update will find disguised programs that can do more harm than good. “Programs disguised as a helpful download that actually make unexpected changes to your computer-for instance, switching your homepage or other browser settings to ones you don’t want…We’ll show a warning in Chrome whenever an attempt is made to trick you into downloading and installing such software. (If you still wish to proceed despite the warning, you can access it from your Downloads list.)

In the post Google gave a peek into how the Safe Browsing feature has worked thus far. Google said that the Safe Browsing statistics are “currently showing more than three million download warnings per week-and because we make this technology available for other browsers to use, we can help keep 1.1 billion people safe.”

Currently, Google allows for Safe Browsing on multiple browsers like Firefox and Apple’s Safari Browser. Which means these statistics are a combination of all browsers-not just Chrome. Though even with Safe Browsing enabled, Google still has tips to make sure you’re safe on the internet.

Google recommends that you avoid scams by doing your research, beware “strangers bearing gifts” and if you’re doubtful, trust your gut. In addition to your own intuition, Google does help fight scams by banning ads from bad advertisers. They also try and be as clear as possible about costs. Google also wants you to stay clear of entering any personal information to a site you’ve arrived at through a link in an email from someone you don’t know. Never send your password via email, or share it with others. Also, the more you report, the better Google can protect. So anytime you find yourself in an email that you just don’t trust, let Google know by flagging. These simple steps can help you avoid any type of identity theft online. Lastly, Google reminds us to keep our device clean.

In addition to Google’s Safe Browsing, they recommend some software that can help even further like avast!, AVG, F-Secure and more. These different software options will help keep your device clean at all times. The ways Google helps in this effort to keep your devices clean is by keeping you up to date, and Safe Browsing to avoid malware. Though soon, Safe Browsing will do more to uncover malicious software, it’s still up to you to make the final decisions. So browse safely, and stay aware of what you’re downloading from the internet.