Google has outlined its intention to tackle the scourge of dodgy downloads on websites by alerting web users that the page they are on may be unsafe.
Google explained the plan in a blog post, announcing that the Safe Browsing initiative will be updated to so-called ‘embedded content’ that poses as legitimate website furniture, but is actually spam.
“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," said Lucas Ballard, a software engineer on the Google Safe Browsing Team.
“[Or] try to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity, like sharing a password or calling tech support.”
Google gave some examples of this in the blog post, noting how, for example, such ads attempt to pose as legitimate downloads for software.
Google also gave the example of play and pause buttons designed to look as if they operate content on a website but actually open pop-ups and prompt downloads to unsuspecting web users.
"Our fight against unwanted software and social engineering is still just beginning. We'll continue to improve Google's Safe Browsing protection to help more people stay safe online," said Ballard.
Google added that anyone who thinks they may be affected by this blocking software unjustly should check the Search Console to see what is causing the block.
"If your site is flagged for containing social engineering content, you should troubleshoot with Search Console. Check out our social engineering help for webmasters," the firm said.
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