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Last year, Google introduced a more advanced tier of protections that anyone can enable in Chrome. Enhanced Safe Browsing now warns users about untrusted extensions, while offering an additional layer of analysis for downloaded files.

Since launching last May, Google has improved the real-time URL checks triggered by Enhanced Safe Browsing and now leverages ML models to “warn on previously-unknown attacks.”

As a result, Enhanced Safe Browsing users are successfully phished 35% less than other users.

Today’s update sees Enhanced Safe Browsing maintain a list of trusted extensions that follow the Chrome Web Store’s Developer Program policies. If you download one from the Web Store that is not part of that catalog, Chrome will prompt you to confirm the install before it gets underway.

For new developers, it will take at least a few months of respecting these conditions to become trusted. Eventually, we strive for all developers with compliant extensions to reach this status upon meeting these criteria. Today, this represents nearly 75% of all extensions in the Chrome Web Store and we expect this number to keep growing as new developers become trusted.

Enhanced Safe Browsing extensions

Meanwhile, Enhanced Safe Browsing is improving download protections by giving you the option to upload files that are deemed risky “but not clearly unsafe” to Google for a more in-depth analysis. This is an option after the “first level check” where a digest of the contents, file source, and other metadata is used to “determine whether it’s potentially suspicious.”

After sending, Google Safe Browsing will scan it using static and dynamic analysis classifiers. You’ll get un/safe destination “after a short wait.” Once this process is complete, Google will delete what was uploaded.

These two Enhanced Safe Browsing upgrades are rolling out with Chrome 91.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: