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How to give Chrome a super-simple security upgrade

Smart security, just like autumn attire, is all about layers. The more effective pieces you have working to protect you, the less likely you’ll be to let a burst of cold air — whether a metaphorical one or a literal one — catch you off-guard. (Also, the more flannel, the better. I’m not entirely sure how that applies to the tech side of things, but I’m stickin’ with it.)

When it comes to browsing this wild ol’ web of ours, after all, potential threats are a-plenty. Shady sites sit in wait to try to trick you into doing something dangerous, passwords are compromised constantly, and ghoulish virtual boogeymen who look curiously like Gary Busey crouch behind dark corners and prepare to pounce.

All right, so the threat of the electronic Busey dopplegangers might not be so massive. But the web is full of security trapdoors. And Google’s got a brawny new layer to add to your ensemble and help keep you extra safe.

It’s a new form of enhanced protection from web-based security threats in Chrome, and it’s there and waiting to be activated. By default, though, it isn’t on — and you’d probably never even know it was available. But if you take two minutes to find and enable it, it’ll be a valuable extra piece of your tech protection outfit. You can even pretend it’s flannel, if you want.

We’ll start with the simpler side of things, on the desktop front, and then move from there to Android — where the feature requires a teensy bit of extra effort to uncover. Before we get into the specifics, though, let’s take a second to break down this new form of browsing protection and what it’s all about.

Chrome’s Enhanced Safe Browsing mode: A quick overview

Right now, whether you realize it or not, your Chrome browser is probably using something Google calls Safe Browsing — on your computer, on your phone, and anywhere else you’ve got the thing installed.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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