Google starts warning users about deceptive downloads

Google has announced a welcome change to its Safe Browsing service: starting next week, Google Chrome will also warn users about attempts to make them download software that can adversely affect their Internet browsing.

Safe Browsing is a web service that is also used by Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers, and warns users about unsafe websites (malware, phishing), attack sites, and alerts webmasters if their sites have been hacked.

Every time a user navigates to a website, its URL is checked against an ever changing blacklist ot unsafe sites, and access to the site is blocked if it’s on the list.

This new change will target deceptive software – software that poses as a helpful download, but will make unexpected changes to the users’ computer, such as changing their homepage, adding an unwanted toolbar to the browser, changing browser settings, and so on.

The warning can be dismissed, and users can proceed to download the potentially unwanted application if they really want to, but it will surely come in handy to those who can’t tell the difference between a legitimate, helpful app and shady software bundles.