Google Chrome more at risk from phishing attacks than Microsoft Edge, research finds – The Independent
Microsoft’s Edge browser offers better protection from cyber criminals than Google Chrome, a new report has found.
Chrome is by far the more popular option, but the findings suggest you have a better chance of staying safe online if you switch.
Cyber security firm NSS Labs tested Chrome, Edge and Firefox, to work out how effective they are at shielding users from phishing attacks.
Google Assistant tips and tricks
Delete everything Google knows about you
Google Assistant remembers everything you’ve used it for and stores the information “to do things like remember your interests and give more personalized responses”. However, if that makes you uncomfortable, you can see and delete the data by visiting https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity.
Disable “Okay Google”
“Okay Google” and “Hey Google” are Google Assistant’s hands-free wake phrases, but you can disable them and instead activate the virtual helper by tapping and holding your phone’s home button.
To turn off “Okay Google”, tap and hold your phone’s home button, hit the Explore & Your Stuff icon in the top right of the popup window, select More and then Settings. After that, tap the phone section and disable “OK Google” Detection.
Unlock your phone with “Okay Google”
You can also go the other way by giving Google Assistant more control over your phone. You can use one of the wake phrases to actually unlock your phone hands-free, but Google warns that doing this can make your phone less secure, as “a similar voice or recording of your own voice” could be used to access your device.
If you’re happy to take the risk, touch and hold your phone’s home button, tap Explore & Your Stuff, More, Settings and the phone section. Once you’ve enabled ‘OK Google Detection, you can do the same for Access and Unlock, the option immediately below it.
You can set up Google Assistant shortcuts that can let you streamline your commands. Saying something like “workout time”, for instance, can be used as a way to get the virtual helper to play music, and “goodnight” can tell it turn off your lights.
To set one up, touch and hold your phone’s home button, tap Explore & Your Stuff, Your Stuff, Shortcuts and Create New Shortcut. After that, enter the phrase you’ll say to Google Assistant, and what you want your Google Assistant to do when you use the phrase.
If you’re in need of inspiration, browse through a list of popular shortcuts by going back to the previous page.
Use Assistant through Home
Google Assistant is arguably most useful when you access it through Google Home, the company’s smart speaker. This is because it can be hooked up to multiple Google accounts and is capable of recognising the different users’ voices.
As well as being good for privacy, this means each member of a household gets an experience that has been personalised to their preferences and interests.
To add an account to Home, open the Google Home app, make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Google Home you want to connect to, tap the Menu icon, Devices and find the device card of the Google Home you’d like to link to your voice.
From the device card, tap the blue banner labelled Multi User is Now Available or Link Your Account, hit Continue and follow the prompts to teach Google Home to recognise your voice. To invite other people to link their Google Account & voice for tailored results, tap Invite.
Hook up your Spotify and Netflix accounts
You can control Spotify through Google Assistant by linking your account to Google Home. Open the Google Home app, hit Menu, Account preferences, Media Accounts and select Spotify. The exact same process applies for your Netflix account.
Control what you share
Once you’ve linked your Google Account and voice to a shared Google Home, other people can access your music and video services using Google Assistant voice commands.
If you’re not comfortable with this, you can ask them to link their own music and video accounts to Google Home. All they need to do is open the Google Home app on their phone, tap Menu and Music and choose their favourite compatible music service, or tap Menu, More Settings, Videos and Photos and choose their favourite compatible video service.
People whose Google accounts aren’t linked to your Google Home will, however, still be able to play content from the default music and video services of the first person that linked their Google account and voice to the device.
Such scams are designed to trick users into handing over valuable personal data, such as login details and credit card information.
They often involve fake emails, which appear to have been sent by a reputable entity or even someone you know and trust.
NSS Labs analysed 36,120 test cases that included 1,136 unique and suspicious URLs over a 23-day period in August and September 2017, reports MSPoweruser, focusing on “block rates, consistency of protection, and early protection against new threats”.
In tests, Microsoft Edge blocked 92.3 per cent of phishing URLs, Google Chrome blocked 74.5 per cent of them and Mozilla Firefox blocked 61.1 per cent of them.
“To protect against malware, leading browser vendors provide cloud-based reputation services, which scour the Internet for malicious websites and then categorize content accordingly, either by adding it to blacklists or whitelists, or by assigning it a score,” NSS LAbs explains.
“A web browser requests reputation information about a specific URL, and if results indicate that the website is ‘bad’, the browser redirects the user to a warning message explaining that the URL is malicious. If a website is determined to be ‘good’, the browser takes no action and the user remains unaware that a security check was just performed.”
It also found that Edge was better at protecting users from brand new “zero hour” phishing scams than its rivals.
It blocked 81.8 per cent of these, compared to 58.6 per cent for Chrome, and 50.7 per cent for Firefox.
“Web browsers are the primary interface used to consume information and are among the most common entry point for attackers,” said Jason Brvenik, NSS Labs’ chief technology officer.
Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10, and has just landed as an app on both iOS and Android.