Google now lets you flag deceptive sites with a new Chrome extension

Google today launched a new Chrome extension that allows you to flag suspicious sites for inclusion in the company’s Safe Browsing index, which is used by Chrome and a number of third-party browsers.

In addition, Google is also launching a new warning in Chrome that puts up a roadblock before you visit a site that is potentially trying to trick you into giving up your credentials or download malware.

Typically, Safe Browsing automatically crawls the web and looks for suspicious sites. With this new extension, you can flag sites that the system hasn’t detected yet. The overall process is pretty simple and the extension gives you the option to include screenshots, the referrer chain that led you to the site and the DOM content of your browser. You get to choose which one of these to send and the screenshot option is off by default.

The extension also puts up a flag in your browser bar that changes color based on how legitimate it thinks a given site is. Because it turns orange for any site that isn’t a top 5,000 site, though, it’s not exactly as useful a warning as it could be.

As for the new warning in Chrome 75, Google notes that it is meant to keep you from visiting sites that are trying to trick you with deceptive URLs (think “go0gle.com” and “google.com”). Chrome will now throw up a full-screen roadblock to warn you about these sites.

“This new warning works by comparing the URL of the page you’re currently on to URLs of pages you’ve recently visited,” the team explains. “If the URL looks similar, and might cause you to be confused or deceived, we’ll show a warning that helps you get back to safety.”

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