Skip to main content

Google is improving its Safe Browsing features to protect MacOS users

macos sierra release date comes out september 20
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Safe Browsing, Google’s in-browser warning system, has announced a number of new updates to help protect against malware in MacOS.

MacOS users should expect to see more warnings in the future, advising them on malicious activity on the sites they are visiting. Safe Browsing is used in Firefox and Safari, not just Chrome.

According to a blog post on Wednesday, Safe Browsing is turning its attention to two common browser abuses — ad injection and manipulation of Chrome settings. Some of the most common Chrome setting changes relate to the changing of the start page, homepage, and default search engine, which Google is trying to stem.

Google also recently released the Chrome Settings API for Mac to help develops set safer settings for users. Starting March 31, Chrome will alert users when changes are being made to their settings that didn’t go through this API. “Also, developers should know that only extensions hosted in the Chrome Web Store are allowed to make changes to Chrome settings,” it added in the blog post.

The updates from Google come at a pertinent time for MacOS users. Mac malware has become much more common with new strains regularly being discovered. While it’s still nowhere near the levels of malware affecting Windows devices, it should still be a cause for concern for any Mac user.

Security researchers discovered a fresh attack recently that abuses Microsoft Word doc macros to deliver malware. It’s long been a trick used to infect Windows computers.

Wrongdoers are getting inventive too. Just earlier this year, a Mac-specific technique carried out denial of service attacks on victims by launching hundreds of email drafts at once, causing the device to crash.

Also at the recent RSA security conference, there was much talk about the proliferation of Mac malware and we should expect to see more emerging this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Jonathan Keane
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jonathan is a freelance technology journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. He's previously written for publications and sites…
Apple’s macOS Sonoma has a game-changing feature — literally
A person plays games on a MacBook using a third-party games controller.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was chock-full of new announcements, and it’s fair to say that between the Vision Pro headset and all of Apple’s new Macs, macOS was far from the biggest new reveal. Yet, there was one new macOS feature that could be absolutely game-changing.

That’s because right now, Mac gaming is in a pretty bad way. Gamers don’t buy Macs because there aren’t enough good games, and developers don’t port their games to the Mac because there aren’t enough people to play them. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation caught in a death spiral.

Read more
This macOS concept fixes both the Touch Bar and Dynamic Island
Concept of macOS dynamic dock.

What if your macOS dock behaved more fluidly, dynamically morphing to show background processes such as download progress, media controls, text messages, and so on?

The following concepts demonstrate "what if" macOS and iOS Live Activities got together and had a child, and they have certainly got my imagination going.

Read more
Is macOS more secure than Windows? This malware report has the answer
A person using a laptop with a set of code seen on the display.

It’s a long-held belief that Macs are less at risk of malware and viruses than Windows PCs, but how true is that? Well, a new report has shed some light on the situation -- and the results might surprise you.

According to threat research firm Elastic Security Labs, roughly 39% of all malware infections happen on Windows PCs. In good news for Apple fans, only 6% of breaches occurred on macOS, making Mac systems far less vulnerable than their Windows counterparts.

Read more