Google has been on a mission to better protect you from cyber threats by beefing up its popular Chrome browser. The latest version adds even more weapons to your arsenal.
With this week's release of Chrome version 71, users will be shielded from all ads that come from websites caught serving up abusive experiences. The list of experiences considered abusive includes fake messages, unexpected click areas, misleading site behavior, phishing attempts, and malware or other unwanted software. Websites discovered pushing such content will be given 30 days to clean up their act; otherwise Google will block all advertisements from those sites.
As shady websites find new and more clever ways to deceive people, unsuspecting users can easily get tricked into downloading malware, revealing personal information, or getting scammed out of money. As a dominant force on the Web, Google has been adding more features to Chrome to protect and alert people of misleading or fraudulent website activity, especially advertisements.
Chrome has long offered the ability to block pop-up ads. Over the past year or two, Google has added protection against unwanted redirects and tabs, disruptive and loud video ads, pop-ups with no visible exit option, and other types of intrusive ads. However, the search giant found that more needed to be done.
"However, we've learned since then that this approach did not go far enough," Google said in a recent blog post referring to versions of Chrome prior to 71. "In fact, more than half of these abusive experiences are not blocked by our current set of protections, and nearly all involve harmful or misleading ads. These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system warnings or 'close' buttons that do not actually close the ad. Further, some of these abusive ad experiences are used by scammers and phishing schemes to steal personal information."
The new setting specifically blocks ads on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads. You can turn the setting off, but it's on by default, and most users will likely want to leave it that way. And that's not the only new feature in Chrome.
Chrome 71 will issue a warning if a website tries to bill you for money using a confusing or deceptive notice. If the billing notice doesn't clearly state its intention or tries to hide the full cost, Google's warning message will alert you that the page is trying to charge you money. You have the option to proceed or go back to the previous page. Further, the new Chrome will silence web pages that attempt to automatically play video or audio unless you've already used the site.
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- Google Chrome 71 will block all ads from websites caught serving up fake messages, unexpected click areas, phishing attempts, and other abusive experiences.
- The new version will also alert you to deceptive billing notices that try to charge you money without providing the necessary information.
- Google Chrome 71 to block all ads on websites that serve up abusive ads
- Google to improve Chrome extension security with new add-on rules
- Google Chrome 70 now available, with new account login and sync features
- Google promises Chrome changes after privacy complaints (CNET)
- Cyber-espionage group uses Chrome extension to infect victims (ZDNet)
- Google reinstates www to URLs in Chrome after user backlash, but only temporarily (TechRepublic)