Avast has released a long-promised WebRep extension compatible with Google Chrome as part of a new update to its antivirus program.
When it released its avast! 6 line of products back in February, the Czech antivirus vendor introduced several new technologies, some of which included in its free offering.
One of these technologies is WebRep, a web reputation service that keeps users informed about risky and malicious URLs in search results.
In order to determine which URLs are malicious and which aren't, WebRep uses real-time data from the company's cloud intelligence gathering system.
But even if a website doesn't directly try to infect computers, it doesn't mean it cannot pose other risks. To address this WebRep also relies on users to manually provide safety ratings for the sites they visit and them to one of several pre-defined categories.
Avast hopes its 120 million active users will help it create a reliable reputation service, but for this to happen it needs to support all browsers, or at least the major ones.
When it launched, avast! 6 came with WebRep add-ons for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, but lacked support for Google Chrome.
Google's browser has an estimated 15% market share and is generally preferred by power users, exactly the kind of people the AV vendor wants rating websites.
The avast! Antivirus update 6.0.1091 released on April 18 provides a new WebRep extension for Chrome and also improves the installation of the existent ones.
In addition, the update solves some stability and compatibility issues and improves technologies like as the program's sandbox or the new SafeZone virtualized environment, available in the commercial editions only.
Existent users can update to version 6.0.1091 from the program's interface, while people who want to give it a try for the first time can download the stand-alone installer from here.