Microsoft published the new security extension Windows Defender Browser Protection for Google Chrome yesterday which adds another link vetting mechanism to Chrome to protect users against phishing and other malicious types of sites.
Google Chrome protects users against malicious and deceptive sites already but Microsoft believes that its technology offers better protection against phishing attacks than Google's does.
The company cites a 2017 study by NSS Labs in which Microsoft Edge blocked 99% of all phishing attacks while Chrome and Firefox blocked only 87% and 70% of all attacks respectively.
Microsoft published the extension for Google Chrome exclusively but it installs in other Chromium-based browsers as well albeit with some issues. In Vivaldi, for instance, it did not display the extension icon. The missing icon does not mean that the extension's checking of sites does not work, but that you can't interact with the icon directly.
Initial user reviews indicate, however, that the extension does not work on Chrome OS right now.
Windows Defender Browser Protection adds an icon to Chrome's main toolbar when it is installed. You can interact with the icon, but the only options that it provides is to enable or disable the protection, and to click on links to open the privacy statement, give feedback to Microsoft, or open "learn more" links.
The browser extension adds its capabilities to Chrome without interfering with the browser's built-in protection against deceptive sites which means, at least in theory, that the protection won't get worse after installing Microsoft's extension for Chrome. I don't really know what happens if Microsoft's extension and Google's built-in protection are triggered on the same page, though. My best guess is that Chrome's built-in functionality will kick in then but that remains to be tested.
Windows Defender Browser Protection brings the phishing protection that Microsoft uses for Edge to Google Chrome and therefore also to non-Windows systems. I'm not sure why Microsoft would bring one of the few advantages that Edge has over Google Chrome to the competing browser but the most likely explanation is that Microsoft gets additional data out of it that it will process, and that the collected data trumps giving up that advantage.
Now You: do you use extra security extensions in your browser?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.