Google Introduces Feature To Users for Detecting Phishing and Malware

Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska Senior Editor
Penka Hristovska Penka Hristovska Senior Editor

Google is introducing a new feature for Android devices, called “Android Safe Browsing,” which notifies users about malicious links and websites within compatible apps.

Google explains the feature will trigger an alert when a user taps on a link within a trusted app that directs to a potentially malicious site. This warning will inform you of the potential dangers before you proceed to open the link, meaning you’ll be able to assess the legitimacy of the link yourself.

The feature “alerts you to security threats, like harmful links and webpages, when you browse within supported apps. For example, you might get an alert if you tap a link in your news app that would take you to a known phishing site,” the statement reads.

The feature also includes “live threat protection,” which, according to Google, offers “more accurate threat detection. You can manually deactivate and reactivate this feature by toggling a switch next to it.

It’s unclear which third-party apps are compatible with the new “Android Safe Browsing” feature. The way it works is that it compares the sites and apps you visit against an extensive database of known threats, curated by Google Play Services via the SafetyNet Safe Browsing API. This API allows apps to verify if Google has flagged a URL as a known threat.

Users don’t need to download anything extra to be able to use this feature — it’s delivered through Google Play Services and will be included in its updates via the Google Play Store. So far, the update has been seen on Pixel and Samsung devices, but it is anticipated to be extended to all compatible Android devices in the foreseeable future.

Google is expected to share more details about the update once it reaches a broader user base. Meanwhile, for those who have already received the update, it can be found under Settings > Security & privacy > More security & privacy on Pixel devices. On Samsung Galaxy devices, the feature is accessible via Settings > Security & Privacy.

About the Author
Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska
Senior Editor

About the Author

Penka Hristovska is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She was an editor at several review sites that covered all things technology — including VPNs and password managers — and had previously written on various topics, from online security and gaming to computer hardware. She’s highly interested in the latest developments in the cybersecurity space and enjoys learning about new trends in the tech sector. When she’s not in “research mode,” she’s probably re-watching Lord of The Rings or playing DOTA 2 with her friends.