You click the close button for a popup ad on a website. Instead of disappearing, the popup triggers another page that doesn't quite look legitimate. We've all run into this and similar types of deceptive experiences on the Internet. Now, Google is trying to clamp down on the websites responsible for this behavior.
Due to be released early December, Google Chrome version 71 will offer a setting designed to discourage websites from trying to trick you with misleading advertisements, Google announced in a blog post. The new setting will block all ads from any website caught delivering ads considered abusive or malicious. Yes, that means even valid advertisements from these sites will be persona non grata. The new setting will be enabled by default. You'll be able to disable it, but why would you want to?
Misleading and malicious advertisements have been a thorn in the side of Web users for years. As the purveyors of these ads have gotten more clever, the easier it's become for any of us to fall prey to their scams. Relying heavily on its own valid ad revenue, Google has been trying to fight such websites and help all of us annoyed with and potentially victimized by their ad tricks.
What types of ads or content are considered abusive? On its Abusive experiences page, Google details a range of culprits, including fake messages, unexpected click areas, misleading site behavior, phishing attacks, auto redirect actions, mouse pointer tricks, and malware, or unwanted software.
Google has already taken steps to combat abusive and misleading ads. Version 70 of Chrome contains a setting that blocks ads on sites that tend to show intrusive ads. Google explained that this level of protection blocks pop-ups and new window requests from sites with certain abusive experiences like redirecting pages.
"However, we've learned since then that this approach did not go far enough," Google said in its blog. "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."
As an expansion of Google's efforts, Chrome 71 will block ads on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads.
Website owners that want to stay out of trouble can check Google's Web Tools page for Abusive Experiences for any problems that need to be fixed. If Google discovers an abusive ad, the site in question has 30 days to resolve the issue before the company starts blocking all its advertisements.
Those of you who want to try out Chrome 71 before its official release in December can download a beta version of the browser.
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- Google Chrome 71 will offer a setting that will block all ads from websites caught serving up abusive or malicious advertisements.
- Enabled by default, the new settings will even block legitimate ads from such sites as an attempt to thwart their behavior.
- Google to improve Chrome extension security with new add-on rules
- Mozilla removes nearly two dozen browser add-ons from Firefox for spying on users
- Google Chrome 70 now available, with new account login and sync features
- Google cracks down on malicious Chrome extensions (CNET)
- Microsoft removes fake Bing ad that looked like a Chrome download site (ZDNet)
- How to use Chrome's built-in anti-malware tool (TechRepublic)