In an attempt to offer more protection to its users, soon risky ads will be flagged by Google. As a result, the company’s safe browsing capabilities will start warning people against embedded content or image ads that lead to unsafe or malicious content. The feature will work on the most important Internet browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.
The new feature will be introduced this week, and thus each time the browser encounters deceptive download buttons or advertisements, an alert will pop up from Safe Browsing. As a result, users will be warned about the possibility of being tricked intro downloading viruses or other damaging content, but also sharing personal information including phone numbers and passwords. You will also have the option of sharing the details of the encounter with Google through a dialog box.
Furthermore, Safe Browsing will take care of fake dialog boxes or error message that ask users to either download certain content or update their software by clicking on dubious links. Those ads usually look very similar to original developers and vendors and thus can easily trick people.
According to Lucas Ballard, member of the team that works on Google Safe Browsing, they have found different criteria for both identifying and sorting advertisements into trusted content and potentially unsafe content. More precisely, if an ad looks and acts like a part of the website where it is shown, or a trusted browser or device it will be seen as part of social engineering. On the other side, embedded content that makes any attempt at tricking users is immediately labeled as dangerous.
Additionally, entire sites may be flagged as unsafe if they display much social engineering content. In order to get rid of the alerts from Google, these websites will have to fix their issues.
The latest feature from the company is part of its efforts to convince owners of websites that security precautions are of utmost importance. Google Safe Browsing was launched eight years ago and is uncovering about 50,000 sites that distribute malware and 90,000 phishing sites each month. Google believes that its safety feature is equally important to both users and website owners, because they can thus fix issues that might have slipped. However, the websites that will continue to function with problems risk to completely disappear from search engine results, as well as become labeled as insecure.
Risky ads will be flagged by Google on Internet browsers, and Android devices have already received Safe Browsing a month ago. As more virtual threats appear each day, this is surely a significant step towards the safety of the users.
Image Source: UbuntuFree.com