GOOGLE HAS RELEASED enhancements to its Safe Browsing service in its Chrome web browser.
The enhancements are aimed at avoiding spoofware, software which either claims to be something that it isn't or pretends to be something useful but is in fact intended to screw up your computer's settings, possibly for the developer's gain, possibly just to be malicious.
Often, helpful "free toolbars" are in fact meant to transfer your search function to a clone of Google that might earn a commission from the host or is riddled with additional advertisements.
From next week, if a download is thought to be harmful, it will be automatically blocked by Chrome with a warning in the download bar. Should a user have reason to continue anyway due to a false positive, or because they genuinely prefer the alternative search engine, they can go to the download page of the web browser where the block can be overridden.
In the Chrome blog on Friday, Google security staff engineer Abu Rajab said that the anti-spoofing service is made available to other web browser developers to incorporate into their own code, and is therefore estimated to be in use on 1.1 billion devices across the world.
Earlier this week, Google announced improvements to its Gmail spam filter to avoid website spoofing caused by use of non-Latin characters email addresses.
It also announced that it will give preferential page ranking in its search engine to websites encrypted with HTTPS. µ