Google Safe Browsing Data Syncs to iOS Devices Via iTunes

Posted on October 14th, 2011 by

This happened very quickly, but when syncing an iOS device yesterday, we noticed that Google safe browsing data was being synced to the device. It's fair to say that, for many, updating iOS devices to iOS 5 was fraught with much annoyance, and when it finally worked, it was easy to not pay close attention to the process. But in the iTunes LCD (the part at the top of the iTunes window that shows the playback timeline and other information), we spotted a message saying "Downloading Safari safe browsing data." This database, provided by Google, is used by mobile Safari to check for known malicious web sites. To check if this is activated on your iOS device, go to Settings > Safari, then look for the Fraud Warning slider. If it's not set to "On," do so; it's a good way to protect your device and yourself from known malicious websites.

We're curious as to how often this database will update - whether it's going to be regularly updated, such as daily or weekly, or whether updates will only come occasionally. If you spot a regularity to these updates, let us know in the comments.

Update: syncing our iOS devices over the past couple of days, it seems that this update occurs once a day, but we have no idea at what time the update is made available.

  • Rick Moy

    This seems like a suboptimal way to deliver reputation-based protection. The time lag of how often most people sync could make the DB obsolete since the threats rotate IPs so quickly. 

  • Alan Zeino

    I think you mean ‘iTunes HUD’ not ‘iTunes LED’.

    • Intego

      No, the official Apple term is iTunes LED. They don’t use it often, but I was told this by someone at Apple once.

      • Unknown Riders

        but how could that possibly be a “Light Emitting Diode” that makes no sense. lol

        • Intego

          Sorry, I meant LCD 🙂 My bad.

          • Jamie Sanderson

            Liquid Crystal Display? 

          • Intego

            Yes, that’s what Apple calls it:


          • Nickson Schumacher

            But in the same paragraph they also call the diamond that fills up the progress bar as a song progresses a triangle so….

  • Carl Harmon

    it is good that google provide us security to provide our documents ..
     thanks for share

    • Intego

      Google maintains the database, but Apple has been using it for a while with Safari.

  • Nicholas Dragon

    So this is uploading information TO my iPhone, rather than extracting data FROM my iPhone, right?

    • Intego

      Yes, it’s downloading data to iTunes, and copying it to iOS devices.

  • Sasha

    I synced my iPhone 3 times last evening and everytime there was 
    “Safari safe browsing data update” – toooo often and takes quite a good time.