Google Starts Blocking Sites With Fake Download Buttons

Google Starts Blocking Sites With Fake Download Buttons

Download sites are known for trickery and quite a lot of them out there trick users into clicking on ads. From annoying popups to interstitial ads, these sites go as far as fooling users into clicking on ads with fake download buttons. As a publisher, making money from free content in most cases is through ads but Google is now frowning on sites that take this too far.

In a recent blog post on Google online security blog, it was explained that Google is now expanding its safe search program to block websites that trick users with fake download buttons. Late last year, the safe search program started protecting users from sites engaging in social engineering attacks.

These include sites that trick users into doing what they would normally do for a trusted entity. For instance, sites that ask you to download software programs by mimicking a trusted site and those that trick you into revealing your personal information.

Sites that also download software programs to users computer though mimicry and deceptive means will soon be blocked.

According to the blog post:

You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.

The image below shows an example of such ads:

This is an example of a deceptive download button which is actually an advert.

With the recent update, perhaps sites like CNet and Sourceforge will be affected as these sites may as well be considered guilty.
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