Sick of deceptive ads with fake download buttons? Never fear, Google Safe Browsing is here.
Ad blocking technology has come a long way, but so have tricky, deceptive ads that attempt to fool you into clicking a fake link. According to a Tech Times report, however, Google has come to the rescue once again with their new Safe Browsing protection feature.
So how exactly does Google Safe Browsing work? Google promised to take actions against the practice of “social engineering,” or using common web design themes to trick people into thinking they’re on a safe site. Hackers use these types of tricks, including fake download buttons and entry forms to get people to submit personal information and agree to rather un-agreeable things, like downloading a program, for instance.
“You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date,” wrote Google. “Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.”
Safe Browsing is currently available on Chrome and Android, alerting users with a warning screen right before they click on a potentially damaging website. Google has also made Safe Browsing technology available through an application that can be added onto Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari browsers, with the stated goal of eliminating social engineering practices on as large of a scale as possible.
In addition to blocking fake download buttons, Google’s Safe Browsing will now attack embedded content. Scams like this are difficult to see, as they are often integrated directly onto a web page. They replace the page’s actual content and appear as though they were intentionally placed on the page, and can trick users into unintentionally installing updates or applications that could harm their machines.
Part of Google’s Safe Browsing tactics mimic public safety protocols – if you see something, you should say something. They allow users to flag deceptive ads and pages, and Google will then notify page owners that embedded content or deceptive ads were found on their site. If it happens more than once, Google will flag the entire site and require the owners to update it.
Information on the new Safe Browsing features from Google can be found here.