It’s happened to all of us: You’re trying to find a download link for some freeware app, and the three largest buttons on the site that say “download” are all fake. Click on any of those, and your computer will probably get infested with malware.
Now Google is trying to put an end to this with a new Chrome feature that will warn you about sites employing these deceptive practices.
The update, which was launched Wednesday, is an extension of Google’s Safe Browsing feature that’s turned on by default in Chrome. (You can turn it on by checking the box before the “Protect you and your device from dangerous sites” option, located under Preferences – Settings – Advanced – Privacy.)
If you have the setting enabled, Chrome will now show you a red warning page when you use Chrome to open a website that has fake download buttons. “Deceptive site ahead,” the warning reads. “Attackers on (the site) may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).
The warning will show for pages that contain ads that "pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity,” Google explained in a blog post, or “try to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity — like sharing a password or calling tech support.”
For web masters whose site gets flagged as deceptive, Google offers these guidelines to make the warning sign go away.