Google launches Chrome extension for reporting suspicious sites

Google has announced two new features aimed at protecting users from deceptive and malicious websites:

  • A new type of warning that will direct users away from sites that have confusing URLs (e.g., typosquatting sites), and
  • A new extension that will warn about potentially dodgy sites and make it easy for users to report them to Google Safe Browsing.

Reporting suspicious sites has been made easier

While the warning works by comparing the URL of the page users are currently on to URLs of pages they’ve recently visited, the Suspicious Site Reporter extension takes into consideration a number of things when assessing whether a site might be suspicious:

reporting suspicious sites

While the decision to flag a site that is not among the 5,000 most popular ones as potentially suspicious might be questionable, there is no doubt that this extension will make it easier for Chrome power-users to help make the web more secure.

(The Google Safe Browsing service is used by Chrome, but also used by Safari, Firefox, Vivaldi, and GNOME web browsers.)

“You can install the extension to start seeing an icon when you’re on a potentially suspicious site, and more information about why the site might be suspicious. By clicking the icon, you’re now able to report unsafe sites to Safe Browsing for further evaluation,” Chrome Product Manager Emily Schechter explained.

The site’s URL and IP address will be sent to the service by default, but users can choose if the report will include a screenshot of the site, the referrer chain by which they landed on it, and the site’s content.

Suspicious Site Reporter extension can downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. Its source code has also been made available on GitHub, so users can compile the extension themselves if they so choose.