No, this isn't an advertisement for the benefits Google's Chrome browser provides. Not even vicariously. Instead, the latest post over at the Google Security Blog is discussing the measures Google has taken to keep browsers safe through a number of anti-malware initiatives. While there's still a ton to watch out in regards to phishing and various other forms of malware, but Google's efforts to protect browsers, especially in regards to their search results, certainly helps.
Another thing that helps is the improved attention to detail from North American web users, which helps explain the rise of phishing attempts in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. As for Google's Safe Browsing effort, this month marks the five-year anniversary of the program, giving Google an opportunity to point out where they've been successful:
- We protect 600 million users through built-in protection for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, where we show several million warnings every day to Internet users. You may have seen our telltale red warnings pop up — when you do, please don’t go to sites we've flagged for malware or phishing. Our free and public Safe Browsing APIallows other organizations to keep their users safe by using the data we’ve compiled.
- We find about 9,500 new malicious websites every day. These are either innocent websites that have been compromised by malware authors, or others that are built specifically for malware distribution or phishing. While we flag many sites daily, we strive for high quality and have had only a handful of false positives.
- Approximately 12-14 million Google Search queries per day show our warning to caution users from going to sites that are currently compromised. Once a site has been cleaned up, the warning is lifted.
- We provide malware warnings for about 300 thousand downloads per day through our download protection service for Chrome.
- We send thousands of notifications daily to webmasters. Signing up withWebmaster Tools helps us communicate directly with webmasters when we find something on their site, and our ongoing partnership with StopBadware.org helps webmasters who can't sign up or need additional help.
- We also send thousands of notifications daily to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) & CERTs to help them keep their networks clean. Network administrators can sign upto receive frequent alerts.
Their report also points out the monthly discoveries of phishing sites and malware-infected sites, all of which are things to avoid. If you haven't been keeping up with how the war on malicious software and unscrupulous phishing attempts, you would be wise to increase your levels of vigilance:
As you can see, phishing attempts are very much alive and well. The same is true for malware-infected sites and sites that try to infect your machine:
As you can see, the need for intelligent browsing coupled with a browser that has built-in anti-phishing/malware measures are pretty much a must in regards to browsing safety. For those who surf on mobile browsers, be mindful.