Did you know that Google has become such an entrenched part of people’s lives that ‘to Google’ was acknowledged as a verb and added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006?
Founded in 1998, Google's primary offering is its search engine, known as Google Search, which allows users to search for information, websites, images, videos, and more through its user-friendly interface. In addition, Google has developed numerous other products and services over the years, including Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, and more.
For such a major player in the World Wide Web market, Google’s cybersecurity needs are presumably through the roof - and the reliability of Google’s virus protection may be a concern for consumers. Google claims that security is an integral part of all its operations and that they practice vulnerability management by tracking and following up on vulnerabilities and by scanning for security threats. But exactly what antivirus does Google use to scan for those security threats? And how does Google guard against the ever-evolving cyber threats of today?
What antivirus does Google use to scan for security threats?
According to Google, they use a combination of commercially available and purpose-built, in-house tools. Some examples of their in-house security tools include HTTPS and transport layer security encryption, a highly secure cloud infrastructure, and blacklists of malicious websites to help users know that they could be navigating to malicious URLs (note: blacklisting is when a search engine removes a website from its index).
Is VirusTotal owned by Google?
Google has also taken it upon itself to secure email technologies that provide protection against phishing and malware attacks.
For example, Google’s Virus Scanner uses Google’s secure cloud infrastructure for online virus scans and spyware detection. VirusTotal, which Google acquired back in 2012, is another good example of a Google security tool.
VirusTotal is an online service that aggregates data, uses antivirus engines and website scanners, and blacklisting services for the purpose of analyzing files and URLs to detect malicious content.
Google also uses other anti-malware software e.g. Google’s Safe Browsing extension. The Safe Browsing extension is used to blacklist URLs of websites that are malicious or contain phishing content. The browser also helps prevent unauthorized changes to a user’s settings.
As to the commercial antivirus solutions that Google uses, there are a few different brands. For example, in addition to its own technology for protecting against malicious links, Google also uses Microsoft’s Windows Defender antivirus scanner to protect users from phishing attacks.
It’s also worth mentioning Google’s Advanced Protection Program, which is intended to bring “increased security and protections to high-profile Google Account users like journalists, activists, politicians, and business leaders,” according to The Verge. Users have to enroll in the program, but once activated, it will provide additional security safeguards for downloads made in Chrome. If a file looks suspicious, the user will be warned or the file will be prevented from downloading.
Does Gmail scan for viruses?
As one of Google’s most popular products, with consumers and businesses alike using this email service, knowing how to scan Gmail for viruses is a commonly asked question.
Gmail has a built-in Google antivirus scanner that automatically scans all incoming emails for viruses and malware. Gmail uses a combination of automated systems and advanced algorithms to detect and block potentially harmful emails before they reach your inbox.
In addition to Gmail's built-in virus scanner, you can also enhance your protection against malware and viruses by being cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on suspicious links, and avoiding sharing personal information with unknown senders. Using next-generation antivirus software like RAV Endpoint Protection can provide an additional layer of security.
If you suspect that an email in your Gmail inbox contains a virus or malware, you should avoid opening it and instead report it as spam or phishing.
Does Google Chrome have antivirus?
Google Chrome used to have a virus detection tool called Chrome Cleanup Tool. Introduced in 2015, the Chrome Cleanup Tool was used to help users recover from unexpected settings changes and to detect and remove unwanted software. Having performed more than 80 million cleanups, this tool was discontinued earlier in 2023 as Google decided its services were no longer so relevant for users. However, as stated in their security blog, Google Chrome users will still be “automatically protected” by their Safe Browsing tool, and have the option to turn on their ‘Enhanced protection’ to increase protection from dangerous websites and downloads.
What is a search engine virus?
A search engine virus is another term for a browser hijacking virus. This is a type of malicious software that modifies your web browser’s settings without your permission. Browsing hijackers can redirect your browser, cause annoying pop-up ads to appear, and potentially track your online activities and collect personal data. Using a next-generation antivirus is an essential tool for maintaining the security and integrity of your computer system, including protecting against search engine viruses.
Why use antivirus software? Best antivirus for Chrome
If you enjoy using a web browser for your online surfing needs, such as Google Chrome, then even though Google uses several different cybersecurity technologies, by far the smartest approach to protecting your computer and data in the current climate of cybercrime is to research and install the best antivirus for Chrome.
While Google’s cybersecurity technologies are effective, they don’t detect nearly the same amount of malware that antivirus solutions do. Antivirus software detects, prevents, and removes malicious software, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. These types of malware can cause various problems, from data loss and system damage to privacy breaches and financial theft. Antivirus software will continuously monitor your system, files, and incoming data for any suspicious or malicious activity. It can identify and quarantine or remove threats in real-time, minimizing the risk of infection and damage to your computer.
Most importantly, antivirus software will regularly release updates to stay ahead of emerging threats. These updates include the latest virus definitions and security patches to protect your system against new and evolving threats.
Hence, it is highly recommended that anyone using PCs should also install additional powerful antivirus software.
Which Antivirus? - Enhancing Your Cybersecurity
When spending time online, using search engines, web browsers, and any other online tools, consider enhancing your protection with an EDR-based antivirus like RAV Endpoint Protection from ReasonLabs.
RAV Endpoint Protection offers a comprehensive suite of security features designed to protect your device from various types of threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and zero-day exploits. It provides real-time scanning and proactive threat detection to ensure the safety of your browsing activities.
RAV Endpoint Protection employs a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity, combining various next-generation antivirus techniques such as signature-based scanning, behavior monitoring, heuristic analysis, and machine learning algorithms. This layered defense helps to identify and block both known and unknown threats, providing advanced protection for your device.
RAV Endpoint Protection is designed to be lightweight and efficient, minimizing its impact on system resources. It is optimized to work seamlessly with popular web browsers like Google Chrome, ensuring that you can enjoy a fast and smooth browsing experience while still benefiting from robust security.
It’s good to know that companies like Google endeavor to protect their customers with their own antivirus solutions. However, enhancing your cybersecurity and selecting your own advanced antivirus with machine learning to ensure that your computer is equipped with the most up-to-date protection is your best bet. This will ensure a safer online experience without compromising on the benefits and convenience of using your preferred web browser or other online tools.
For more information on RAV Endpoint Protection and other products in our cybersecurity suite, visit us at: www.reasonlabs.com.