Making the Internet safer for everyone
Protecting users is a shared responsibility. We are all better off when everyone uses the best security technologies and techniques. We work closely with online organisations, researchers, NGOs and other companies who care about security to help make being online safer for everyone.
Sharing expertise and tools
Because your safety is important to us no matter what services or products you’re using, we share the information about the bad sites and links that we find with other companies, so that they can help protect their users as well. By working together and helping each other, the whole web is much safer.
We've also developed a number of popular security tools, like Skipfish, that provide information to web application developers, website owners and network administrators, to help them to keep their platforms safe and detect security problems on their sites. We provide these tools for free and work with many partners to develop and continuously improve them.
To help other websites to embrace SSL encryption and reduce costs, we have shared our findings on how to make SSL more efficient, which makes it easier for websites to add this layer of safety for their users.
And we run an independent service called VirusTotal that helps improve web security by offering a free tool that people can use to simultaneously scan files or URLs for malware and viruses.
Communicating with users and website owners
As we work to protect our users and their information, we sometimes discover and investigate unusual patterns of activity. Every day we identify and flag more than 10,000 unsafe sites, and we show warnings on up to 14 million Google Search results and 300,000 downloads, telling our users that there might be something suspicious going on behind a particular website or link.
For example, last year we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centres. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behaviour were infected with a particular strain of malware. We put a programme in place to inform the users who were infected and to direct them to tools that could help them to remove the malware.
We also built technology into Chrome that helps to make sure that a secure connection is really secure. Criminals can be very sophisticated and can launch attacks to spy on the information you send to a website even though it might seem like you are securely connected. Using our Chrome technology, we have detected attacks like this in the past and reached out to users, other browser companies and developers to help defeat the criminals together.
We also send messages every day to thousands of website owners whose sites we think might have been compromised by an attack, so that they can clean up their sites.
Partnering with security organisations
Google is part of a number of organisations that work to help companies improve security for their users. For example, we partner with and helped to found StopBadware.org; an initiative to make the web safer by stopping, mitigating and cleaning up websites with malware or other bad software.