IF YOU'RE worried about your online safety while browsing the web, this Google Chrome tool can help.
At the press of a button, the browser can help you scour the internet more carefully through a number of additional safety checks.
However, the software tool, called enhanced safe browsing, comes with some drawbacks.
It's worth weighing these up before diving straight in. Read on to find out more:
What is Chrome's enhanced safe browsing?
Enhanced safe browsing offers Chrome users additional protections to keep them safe from the more dangerous corners of the web.
It provides alerts about malware, risky extensions, phishing or sites on Google’s list of potentially unsafe sites.
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There are three levels of Google's Safe Browsing mode: No protection, standard protection and enhanced protection.
Unsurprisingly, enhanced protection offers the highest level of protection.
Once activated, you'll get automatic warnings about potentially risky sites and downloads, as well as warnings about leaked passwords.
Chrome will also inspect the safety of your downloads and warn you when a file may be dangerous.
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You can then choose to send this file to Google to be scanned for added security.
The trade-off, however, is that Chrome sends additional data to Google about your web activity.
Some may consider this a small price to pay for additional security, while others will deem it a sacrifice they're not willing to make.
How to turn on enhanced safe browsing
You can turn on enhanced safe browsing in your Google account settings.
- Open Chrome on your PC or Android device.
- Hit More (three horizontal dots in the top right)
- Click or tap on Settings (grey cog icon)
- Tap Privacy and security > Safe Browsing.
- Select Enhanced Safe Browsing.
Drawbacks to enhanced safe browsing
If you use enhanced safe browsing, you automatically agree to share more data with Google.
The search giant will collect more data about what you are downloading and the websites that you visit.
If you are signed into Chrome, your Google account is temporarily linked to your browsing data.
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According to Google, this data is anonymised and helps it to tailor protections to your specific situation.
Despite this, anonymised data, such as your search history, can be linked to social media profiles using publicly available data, according to research from Princeton and Stanford universities.
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