According to the official Google blog, Google is celebrating 5 years since the release of its Safe Browsing policy. Its original goal was to make sure the results it displayed when you submitted a query were free of phishing and malware threats. Before this, when making use of a search engine, you essentially just had to take your chances when clicking on the results.
These days Google have expanded on this and protect most popular browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari) as they navigate the internet, independent from the results on Google.
How Google Safe Browsing Helps You
* Over 600 Million web users are protected by Google Safe Browsing.
* As people follow links through internet, occasionally they stumble across a harmful sites. Of course, we can’t easily tell this. Google issues around 13 Million red warnings every day, warding them away from potentially threatening areas. This protection even extends to downloads.
* 9 500 of these harmful sites are discovered each day by Google. Some are built specifically to propagate harmful software and others are just normal sites that have fallen victim to infection.
* It’s not just the individual that benefits from this protection. Google also send notices to Webmasters, ISP’s and CERT’s who are signed up for Alerts and Webmaster Tools, if they detect any types of problems on their network.
Probably one of the oldest forms of cyber-attacks, phishing attempts to get users to submit sensitive information by pretending they’re a reliable entity that’s asking for it. Often they imitate a popular site’s design to gain a person’s trust.
As it relies on a consistent human interaction, the methods haven’t evolved much over the years but their ability to avoid detection have. Phishing sites are incredibly temporary, sometimes existing for less than an hour. Targeted phishing, sometimes called spear phishing, is also on the rise, often setting its sights on entire companies and financial institutions.
A more sophisticated form of cyber-attack because it often requires very little input from the user, malware sites try to initiate drive-by downloads that install malicious software on your computer that either, uses it to communicate with other PC’s, gather sensitive sensitive information stored on it or often, just to mess things around to annoy you.
What Google have been working on preventing, is the more subtle ways malware is spreading itself these days. Sometimes, approving the installation of a malicious add-on or software can be as easy as trying to close a pop-up ad or alerting you to a supposed “virus”.
As with Phishing sites, they can be very challenging to find due to how they move around.
Fighting These Types of Threats
* Heed any warnings that Google give you about a website. Even if you’ve been there before, it may have only recently been compromised.
* If you come across any suspicious sites, report them to Google.
* Websites should makes use of Google Webmaster Tools so they are notified if Google find anything suspicious on their site.
Google’s safe browsing team help develop more intuitive forms of detection everyday as these cyber terrorists change their approach. The more we stay aware as we surf the web, the better we can avoid these threats and the less impact these kinds of sites will have in the future.