Safe Browsing and Deceptive Ads

Google recently announced that they would be enhancing their Safe Browsing protection to now include deceptive embedded content, such as social engineering ads. This will be in addition to the policies that they announced back in November. What does this mean? It means that embedded content, such as ads on a web page, will be consider social engineering (viruses, malware, phishing, etc.) when they meet certain criteria. 

These criteria are:

  • Pretend to act, look, or feel like a trusted entity. This means that the content could look like the actual website or browser.
  • Tries to trick the user into doing something that they would normally only do with a trusted site. This could mean trying to get someone to share their password, personal information, etc.

What does all of this mean? Be cautious. If you’re not certain of the validity of a link, then don’t click on it. If you get an email from your bank, email service provider, etc., stating that you need to update information, then go directly to that site instead of following the link. 

With the amount of viruses and malware floating around right now, it’s simply smarter to take the philosophy of better safe than sorry. Also, always have virus and malware protection installed on every computer. Attacks can spread to every computer on a network. Just as important, if not more, have a verified backup. There’s no excuse anymore given the prices of external drives and online real-time backup services. This is cheap insurance that is worth every penny and it could mean the difference between being up and running the next day as if nothing happened or not being able to open for business.