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Google Chrome to stamp out sites with misleading invasive ads

Nov 6, 2018, 7:00 am

Google will start stepping up its fight with Chrome 71 to fight against websites that use shady pop-ups and redirects to ensnare web users. With Chrome 71, Google plans to improve its ability to block all ads on websites that feature what the company calls “abusive experiences.”

The crackdown will target online ads that pose as system warnings, close buttons, and “watch video” icons, but actually, trigger a flood of pop-up ads or an application download when users click on them. According to Google, some of these abusive ads include fake system errors, links that steer users to unwanted sites or any pop-up that tries to steal personal information.

The ads can certainly be annoying, but Google is also warning that fraudsters have been using some of the ads in phishing schemes to steal people’s personal information. The company declined to elaborate on the suspected scammers and their activities. But on Monday, it said an update to Chrome will block all ads on a group of sites that have been bombarding users with the invasive tactics.

Google said there are only a “small number of sites” that show such ads in the first place, so users may not see much of a difference. They said, “small” on the internet doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of shady websites. But if you’re visiting such sites on a regular basis, then your browsing experience might be safer starting in December.

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