Google declares war against deceptive download buttons

There’s likely no Internet user that hasn’t, at some point, been tricked into clicking on a deceptive “download,” “install,” or “update” button.

They are usually shown via ads, mimic dialogue boxes of legitimate software or sites, or look like they the “belong” to the site and will produce content that relates to it:

Download, Play

Most websites offering free software downloads are guilty of the latter deception.

But Google decided to make an effort to kill the practice, and it will do that by showing the following alert before loading a site that engages in this particular type of social engineering:

Google deceptive site warning

“Consistent with the social engineering policy we announced in November, embedded content (like ads) on a web page will be considered social engineering when they either: Pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity — like your own device or browser, or the website itself, or try to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity — like sharing a password or calling tech support,” Lucas Ballard, a software engineer with Google’s Safe Browsing Team, explained.

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