Google Celebrates Cybersecurity Awareness Month with New “Predictive Phishing Protections” for Chrome


Since October is a Cybersecurity Awareness Month (kind of ironic if you look at this month's headlines, though), Google is celebrating it with a number of security announcements. In today's announcement, Google has said that it is rolling out a revamped version of the Security Checkup feature and introducing new phishing protections to Chrome.

Security Checkup presents an easy to use interface that helps users make sure their Google accounts, data and connected information is safe, including connected devices, account permissions and more. From now on, Security Checkup will be even more improved, offering personalized suggestions to users to ensure that every user is getting a tailored guide that works for them and isn't just another run of the mill security checklist.

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"Security is top of mind for everyone these days, and with one troubling headline after another, you may be concerned about the security of your information online," Google wrote in its announcement post. "Today, we're announcing two new protections to help you stay safer online - an upgrade to our Security Checkup and new phishing protections in Chrome."

With today's improvements, Security Checkup will offer a clear security status and personalized recommendations to strengthen user account security instead of the same passive checklist for everyone. When you head over to the checkup page, it will also give you an overall health rating of your account by using yellow, red or green exclamation point/check icons based on how secure your account, data and devices are.

Note that the features and the mechanism behind Security Checkup remains the same; today's revamp only ensures that users are more likely to understand this service and how to better protect their data and devices.

Google's predictive, intelligent counter-phishing protections

After boasting that Google's Safe Browsing helps protect over 3 billions devices from phishing attacks every day, the tech giant announced making its Safe Browsing even more intelligent based on the data it has been collecting for years.

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Safe Browsing has always scanned the web for these dangerous sites. But, if a phishing site is created and used for attack moments later, even the quickest scanners can’t warn people fast enough. From our years of experience detecting phishing sites, Safe Browsing’s insights can now enable us to make predictions about risks in real time.

The company said that it is now "using this knowledge to test new predictive phishing protections in Chrome". These new capabilities will mean that "soon, when you type your Google account password into a suspected phishing site," Google will "add additional protections to ensure your account isn't compromised".

With these new protections, even if you fall for a phishing attack, Google will ensure that your account isn't compromised by taking extra measures. These protections will apply to your Google account even if you use a different browser afterwards.

The company plans to soon extend this Safe Browsing feature to other browsers including Safari and Firefox, and apps like Snapchat, as well.