The above image is one that many users might have come across along their travels on the Internet when using Google Chrome. If you’re lucky enough to not have seen it, this is the warning that Google Chrome will offer up to users when they’re about to head to a website that is known to be dangerous or unsafe. For the most part, this warning applies to known phishing scams, an unsafe certificate or a malware report, but Google is taking things further, and finally doing something about those fake download buttons and other deceptive banners and links that are often found in less-than-wholesome parts of the Internet.
Over on their Webmaster Central blog, Google lists a number of different examples that this new change will apply to. The fake download buttons and warnings about an outdated Flash player or media player are exactly the sort of things that fall under Google’s new attack on “Social Engineering” hacks, and it’s nice to see Google shine on a light on things like this, and more importantly protect those that might come across these sort of things. We can’t help but feel like Google is a little late to the party on this one however, as these fake buttons and links have been around for a long time now. Still, it’s nice to see Google use such strong language in their blog post, and this could lead to a significant drop in the amount of people getting fooled by these, especially given the amount of people that are using Google Chrome all over the world.
Google outlines the sort of things that it thinks are deceptive content as something that “pretends to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity” or that tries “to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity”. These sorts of things are more often than not scams to either send someone down a rabbit hole by clicking the wrong download button or get them to give up some of their personal information. Regardless of which it is, Google has had enough, and is doing something about it, which can only be good news for the rest of us.