Skip to main content

Chrome on Android is getting more secure — here's how

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Android's native Chrome browser is one of the mobile operating system's best features. But you don’t get the same level of privacy and security control with the mobile version of Chrome as you do with the web version. 

That may soon change, as Google has added the Safety Check feature found in the desktop version of Chrome to the Canary experimental version of the Chrome app on Android, reported Techdows

Adding a feature to Canary, the "bleeding edge" of Chrome development, doesn't necessarily mean that the feature will end up in the stable version of Chrome. 

It also doesn't indicate when a feature might make it to the stable build, as the feature has to pass through the Developer and Beta builds as well. But it’s usually a good sign. 

Safety Check, which was introduced to the desktop version of Chrome in May, checks the browser itself for security issues. It runs locally on the device. It's not the same thing as Google Security Checkup, which covers your entire Google account and checks all your connected devices and logins across the internet.

The Safety Check option is currently buried under the settings section of the latest Canary build for Chrome on Android. To access it you will need to visit the "flags" page of the browser and search for "safety check" then enable it to then add it to the settings menu. 

Once you have it up and running, you can then use the feature to effectively carry out a safety audit of your browsing on Chrome. 

That will mean checking if you have Chrome’s "Safe Browsing" feature enabled, scanning for any passwords that may have been compromised, and checking if you have the most up-to-date version of Chrome on your Android devices.

This might not seem like a huge move, but its a step in the right direction to making Android a more secure mobile operating system. 

While you can give the Safety Check feature a spin by downloading the Canary Chrome browser in the Google Play Store, it’s worth noting that due to its experimental nature, the Canary build isn’t nearly as stable as the full Chrome app. So proceed with caution if you wish to use it. 

  • Get protection when you browse with the best Chrome VPN...
  • ...and increase the security on your phone with the best Android VPN