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Chrome protects high-profile hacking targets against risky downloads

The Advanced Protection Program will outright block some downloads.
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Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Google's Advanced Protection Program now protects high-risk hacking targets even while they're casually surfing the web. Users who turn on account syncing in Chrome now have elevated protection against risky downloads. The browser will provide extra warnings for some files, and even block some downloads altogether. An attacker will be that less likely to trick (or force) you to download malware that compromises your computer.

The addition is an acknowledgment that attackers are more likely to skip email in favor of the web, whether it's linking directly to bad files or "drive-bys" that try to send a file your way without asking.

The timing may be apt. Malware creators are finding more and more ways to start downloads without consent, for a start. On top of this, it's becoming clearer that broad-based hacking campaigns aren't going away any time soon. If Google doesn't toughen its Chrome protections, intruders might see that as a weakness they can exploit for targets that are otherwise relatively secure.

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