Google launched its Safe Browsing feature in 2007 for the Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers. On September 11, Google announced through its blog that the service now protects more than "3 billion" devices worldwide. Safe Browsing is used as a preventive measure that stops users from accessing potentially harmful web pages.

What is the service all about?

The feature is present whenever one accesses Google's search engine and uses it to browse the internet. It runs in the background and only shows up when the user tries to access a questionable site. These sites are flagged undesirable by the Safe Browsing functionality for a host of different reasons.

For instance, a web page may be dangerous because it tries to install or introduce malicious programs into the systems of a device. The service detects such sites and warns the user against accessing such web pages on the internet.

According to Digital Trends, with newer forms of technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, Google [VIDEO] has tried to improve the Safe Browsing feature. With advancement in computing technology, the company is now able to scan more than a million websites each day. Any site which shows signs of being infected with malware is immediately added to the service's database. This allows the functionality to warn users as soon as they try to access any of the sites that are listed in the same database.

The company has also incorporated the same features on services, such as Gmail and Google Play Store.

This has ensured that any activity in these services is also monitored for suspicious content. In terms of advertisement as well, their Blog states that Safe Browsing ensures that Google only promotes those websites which are free from such malicious firmware or activities. It is believed that millions of people accessing the internet have been rescued from phishing and online scams due to the Google Safe Browsing feature.

The Google service on smartphones

A large portion of the 3 billion devices that Google says is protected by the service comprises of smartphones and tablets. In 2015, the company introduced the feature in the Android version of Google Chrome. This drove the growth in Safe Browsing usage and by May, 2016, the feature was reported by Tech Crunch as protecting 2 billion devices worldwide.

The company also adapted the feature to fit the smartphones properly. Google ensured that the data usage for the service in hand-held devices is severely limited. In a bid to achieve this, Google sends out only the most vital information from the Safe Browsing database while the user tries to access websites. This ensures that the handsets stay protected without the service consuming too much cellular data.