Google are going after fake download buttons

5 February 2016

new google logo It happens to everyone - you hit 'download' on something, and you don't get what you wanted, but rather, sent to some annoying site that is filled with crappy adverts, or worse, something that tries to load you up with malware.

Well, Google are not happy about these sites, and are tinkering with their Safe Browsing service (that you get with Chrome) so that you're warned explicitly about content that might not be what it says it is. Notably, they're going after buttons that promise one thing, and give you something entirely different.

Google have said: "Consistent with the social engineering policy we announced in November, embedded content (like ads) on a web page will be considered social engineering when they either: pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity — like your own device or browser, or the website itself. [Or] try to trick you into doing something you'd only do for a trusted entity — like sharing a password or calling tech support."

So, if a website is repeatedly flagged up by users, Chrome will start throwing up a big warning at you when you're on it. Basically, it'll mither you until you're at ease with using it, or go elsewhere.

You can assume that Google will be running tests on sites that are flagged up, because if they don't, mischief makers will be able to flag up all manner of innocent sites, and the whole internet will be covered with warnings... and that'd be terrifically annoying.

This is the latest safety feature implemented by Google for the Chrome browser, and certainly not the last. Now, if they could do something about who go on about their keep-fit routines too often, that'd be great.

TOPICS:   Technology   Consumer Advice

1 comment

  • Denny
    Interesting move. In my experience most of those fake download buttons seem to be served up by Google Adsense. As a publisher I've grown tired of blocking such adverts in Adsense from showing up on my site. Maybe Google should take a look at their own backyard first.

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