Google is upgrading its Safe Browsing security feature on Chrome to automatically detect phishing websites when browsing, delivering 25% improved protection from malware and phishing threats to all users.
Rolling out to Chrome over the next few weeks, the Enhanced Safe Browsing feature will check the websites’ domain against a list of malicious URLs in real time. When there’s a match, Chrome automatically blocks the dodgy site and displays a “Dangerous site” warning.
The Google Safe Browsing feature originally checked sites against a locally-stored list of known bad sites, updated every 30 to 60 minutes. However, Google notes that “60% of them exist for less than 10 minutes, making them difficult to block.”
Instead of the standard Safe Browsing, the company will move all users to the upgraded Enhanced Safe Browsing. This brings real-time phishing protection, making it easier for Chrome to identify dodgy websites before anyone clicks on them.
“By shortening the time between identification and prevention of threats, we expect to see 25% improved protection from malware and phishing threats,” Google states.
While this means Google Chrome will send the URLs of sites you visit to Google’s servers to check for malicious links, the company told BleepingComputer that none of the data submitted through Enhanced Safe Browsing will be used in other features, such as targeted ads and more.
The real-time phishing protection for Chrome will roll out to all users over the next few weeks. For more on phishing and how you can prevent it, we’ve got you covered below.
- Windows 11 now has enhanced Phishing Protection features – here’s how to turn it on
- Malware on Chrome? 5 easy ways to remove it
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a form of cybercrime where attackers will trick unsuspecting victims into sending sensitive information or installing malware on their devices. It involves contacting victims via email, text message or telephone and posing as a legitimate company or individual seeking information to benefit the victim. Malicious actors will use social engineering techniques to convince unsuspecting victims they are real.
If you received an email that looks suspicious, you aren’t alone. Scammers often send millions of phishing emails, thousands at a time, to trick recipients, with malicious messages being sent to email addresses found through social profiles or via data breaches. These email scams are widespread, meaning attackers cast a wide net to see how much they can reel in.
Phishing attacks commonly use links in messages to dodgy websites or PDF attachments with malware to quickly gain unauthorised access to user accounts or steal valuable information.
With phishing scams on the rise, it’s best to use proper protection to fend off any suspicious messages you receive. This includes Windows 11 Enhanced Phishing Protection, but there are other tools you can use, too.
Use antivirus software to stop phishing
The best antivirus software will stop phishing in its tracks. Many high-standard AV protection offers near-perfect scores when detecting and protecting against malware, meaning even complex malicious software can’t go unnoticed in messages or emails.
Messages from scammers can contain harmful links or attachments filled with malware, which you never want on your device. The good news is you can let one of the best antivirus software services do all the legwork for you, as they have security and privacy features to protect your accounts.
Services such as Avast One, Bitdefender, Norton 360 and more have protection tools that block malicious email addresses, links and attachments. To make sure scams block malware damaging your device or keep you safe from threat actors hacking your phone through texting and more, set yourself up with an antivirus.
- Norton 360 review: Optimal security
- Avast One review: Strong antivirus for free!
- Bitdefender review: All-in-one premium security
Best antivirus for phishing
You can find out the best antivirus software below.
Best overall antivirus
Bitdefender takes the spot as best antivirus, and for good reason. It’s not enough that it boasts near-perfect lab test scores across the board, as it goes the extra mile by giving users access to a plethora of advanced security features.
Bitdefender goes above and beyond in the features department, all while keeping known malware, ransomware, and viruses at bay. It will defend your device against new attacks, provide security for online transactions, keep you safe with a reliable VPN, and protect your accounts with a password manager.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to defending your devices against virtually any form of cyberattack, and its top-notch protection extends to its most affordable package, too. Protecting your PC and smartphone, from Windows and macOS to iOS and Android, is becoming even more necessary, and Bitdefender is the tricked-out shield you need.
See our full Bitdefender review
Best free antivirus
With Avast One, you can protect your device from viruses, malware and ransomware for free. That’s right, and you don’t have to pay a dime for the extra security features the antivirus throws in, including its VPN, firewall and more.
Avast One will safeguard your device from malware, comes with ransomware protection, blocks harmful websites and downloads from the web, scans your emails for malicious attachments, stops hackers from infiltrating your device through Wi-Fi with a firewall – the list goes on. That’s a lot of tools for software that’s free, and the included VPN and the ability to speed up your PC are a welcome bonus.
It’s the ideal antivirus software for home use, as it takes the hassle out of staying wary of cyber threats lurking around, even if you’re not a tech whizz. What’s more, if you are looking for added precautions, its paid Individual and Family packages still boast great value. Hard to go wrong with this best antivirus.
See our full Avast One review
Best antivirus for families
“Norton” and “antivirus” are synonymous these days, as the well-established cybersecurity brand has successfully fought against malware, viruses and nasty software threats since 1990.
Norton 360 offers excellent antivirus protection and extra features that make for a valuable, all-in-one security product. Its Norton 360 Deluxe and Premium package may cost a pretty penny. Still, with security across multiple platforms, a full-blown VPN, Dark Web Monitoring, Parental Controls and more, it will have a household free of cyber threats.
Norton’s certainty of its antivirus software’s capabilities is clearly defined by the brand’s 100% Virus Protection Promise. If a device protected by Norton 360 can’t get rid of a virus, the user receives their money back. It’s a big claim, but unquestionably, no one should expect to get that refund.
If you have the money for it, you can also check out the premium Norton 360 Platinum package for even more online protection, including from identity theft. Without a doubt one of the best antivirus to get.
See our full Norton 360 review
Another best antivirus for free
You can never go wrong with free antivirus protection, but some deliver even better detection and protection rates, along with extra security features, without costing a dime. This is where AVG antivirus shines.
AVG provides reliable protection and only a small impact on performance for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It safeguards your devices against malware, viruses and zero-day exploits, along with blocking malicious links and attachments in emails. Throw in phishing protection when surfing the internet and extra security features such as its SafePrice browser extension and Network Inspector, and you’ve got yourself a do-it-all antivirus.
Sure, you can find all of these perks with Avast, but if you like a slick, darker user interface that’s easy to navigate, then AVG is for you.
See our full AVG Antivirus review
Best antivirus for Windows PC
Hundreds of malware emerge every minute, and it’s Malwarebytes’ mission to detect and conquer them all. Does the antivirus do this successfully? Yes, but there’s wiggle room for improvements.
Malwarebytes’ no-nonsense approach to protecting your devices from the onslaught of malware and viruses is effective for those who need a reliable antivirus that will detect and remove malicious software, especially with its free version. However, while its premium service provides 24/7 real-time detection, conveniently blocks vicious ransomware and shields users from malicious websites, it doesn’t go beyond on the feature front.
That’s no bad thing, as sometimes a user only needs a powerful antivirus to keep them safe from cyber threats. But considering its competitors add a few more security tools, such as data breach monitoring and a firewall, there’s room for improvement.
See our full Malwarebytes review