Google will start warning users when they visit websites with dodgy ‘social engineering’ ads

Google announced Tuesday it will start warning users when they are about to visit a website with “deceptive embedded content.”

Google also describes this deceptive content as “social engineering ads,” most commonly pop-ups that persuade the user they need to install software in order to view content, or official-looking forms that deceive people into sharing their passwords or calling a premium-rate tech support telephone helpline.

Here’s an example pop-up that tricks some users into thinking their software is out of date:

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When Google detects sites with this kind of “social engineering,” it will display a full-page red screen warning: “Deceptive site ahead.” The screen, below, will prevent the user from visiting the page:


If you think you’ve seen that screen before that’s because the “deceptive download buttons” update follows on from the “Safe Browsing” protection Google announced in November, which blocks users from visiting entire web pages that contain social engineering content.

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