In an effort in increase user safety while browsing, Google recently announced on their blog that website owners will no longer be allowed to show what is deemed as “Deceptive Content” to users without a warning screen. In keeping with the social engineering policy Google instituted in November, Chrome will now alert you by displaying the following warning:
What does Google consider “Deceptive Content”?
Google states that 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.
- Try to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity — like sharing a password or calling tech support.
If you’ve surfed the world wide web much, chances are, you have encountered deceptive content. From popups that “appear” to be sent by your browser that state an update is overdue to fake tech support ads that tell you your computer is running too slow or infected, there are a variety of ways websites offer content that is deceptive.
How do I know if I have “Deceptive Content” on my website?
Chances are, if you are an author or blogger and don’t run ads, then you will never have an issue. However, some businesses and individuals may be flagged if they have ads running that Google deems as social engineering. Below are some examples, taken straight from Google’s blog.
This image claims that your software is out-of-date to trick you into clicking “update”:
This image mimics a dialogue from the FLV software developer — but it does not actually originate from this developer.
These buttons seem like they will produce content that relate to the site (like a TV show or sports video stream) by mimicking the site’s look and feel. They are often not distinguishable from the rest of the page.
The fight against safe browsing and social engineering is just beginning. It’s best to be aware of what’s ahead and avoid using smarmy advertising practices on your website. If you find that your website *has* been flagged, contact us for help.