Google Chrome Browser Touts Simplicity, Security
Google's Chrome Web browser has been touted for its speed and user-friendly interface, but its the three-tiered system that's working behind the scenes to keep users safe and secure.
The Google Chrome empire began when the Chrome Web browser was introduced in 2008, and the browser is now used by more than 120 million people, according to Google's Chrome blog. In addition to its speed and easy-to-use interface, the browser has several built-in security features to keep people safe when surfing online.
The first tenet of Chrome security is "safe browsing." It's a simple feature, and Google believes that's what makes it crucial.
When safe browsing is enabled, Chrome will display a warning message before users visit a site that is thought to contain malware or be vulnerable to phishing scams. The warnings read: This is probably not the site you are looking for! or The site's security certificate is not trusted!
As part of the safe browsing feature, Chrome's URL bar where the website address is typed automatically highlights legitimate domain names in a darker color this provides users with a visual check that the sites they are visiting are not corrupted domain names set up by attackers. Chrome also displays a padlock icon when it establishes an encrypted connection with a website.
Safe browsing can be enabled by clicking on the wrench icon in the top right of the browser, selecting Options, then Under the Hood, and finally checking the box for Enable phishing and malware protection.
The second pillar of Chrome's security pyramid is "sandboxing" a feature that helps "prevent malware from installing itself on your computer or using what happens in one browser tab to affect what happens in another." Sandbox technology isolates a corrupted program and prevents it from spreading throughout a user's system.
Chrome recently set up its own PDF-viewer with sandbox technology. This adds a layer of protection for users, as the popular PDF-viewing software Adobe Reader is often the victim of malicious attacks .
Completing the Chrome security pyramid is "auto-updates," a feature that does just what it says it updates users' browsers to the newest, most secure version without any prompting. All the user has to do is go to "About Google Chrome" under the wrench icon, and select "Set Up Automatic Updates for All Users."
These security measures help keep Chrome free from vulnerabilities that hackers often exploit on other browsers such as Safari, Firefox , and Internet Explorer. A recent study by M86 Security showed that Internet Explorer flaws took up five spots on a list of the top 15 vulnerabilities during the first half of 2010.
Along with the three-tiered security system, Chrome also has an eye on educating its users. Google recently set up a video tutorial site, teachparentstech.org, which offers detailed, simple and free instructions on how to use Chrome and all its features. Tech-support care packages were offered for the first 10,000 people to view the tutorial. The packages were out of stock in nine hours.