Google’s Advanced Protection Program gives users an extra security layer to protect their online accounts and data from prying eyes, especially useful for journalists, activists, and the like. For over a year, the initiative has alerted users of potentially malicious files downloaded through Chrome. Google is now taking that a step further to make the tool even more useful in identifying malware.
If Chrome’s preliminary checks think that a file could be harmful, it’ll flash a warning sign, as it does for everyone. However, from now on, Advanced Protection users will start seeing an option to send the highlighted file to Google Safe Browsing for further scanning, as shown in the included image below. After uploading the file, Google will “scan it using its static and dynamic analysis techniques” in real-time to let you know if it’s indeed infected and unsafe for your device. Google hasn’t detailed how this will work for password-protected and encrypted files.
You’ll still have the option to bypass the alert if you trust the sender and/or the file. Google says that Safe Browsing will delete the uploaded data after a short while. This feature is being implemented just in time for the upcoming US elections, as Google knows that political campaign workers are more likely to be targeted, but it should also come handy to everyone. If you think you’re in a high-risk job and need extra data protection, you can sign up for the program on its official site after learning about its usage restrictions.