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Google Chrome will now let users know why a website is blocked

Google Chrome will now let users know why a website is blocked

by AshwinOctober 23, 2015

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, and the Mountain View company does its best to help the user stay secure online.

Google Safe Browsing Transparency

From blocking malware to unwanted downloads, the browser has its own layer of security.

One such security option in Chrome is the Google Safe Browsing protocol. It was introduced back in 2006, even before the browser made its debut as part of the company’s screening process for websites. What it does is, it places a huge Red screening warning the user, that “The site ahead contains malware”.

Chances are you may have seen it once or twice. This warning sign is usually found on websites which offer illegal or dangerous content. But on certain rare occasions, you may have noticed that some legitimate websites or those that you frequently visit also end up with such a warning screen. You can of course ignore the warning, at your own risk, and head over to the website, thinking “Hey, I know this site, it’s safe”. That is not always the case though, and sometimes we just close the tab and end up wondering why the website was blocked.

Usually there is no official reason given, but after a few hours or days, the website gets a clean chit from Google, and everything is back to normal, much to the visitor’s surprise. What happens behind the scene is that the webmaster may have spotted a dangerous element on the website, and would have removed it, following which Google would rescan the website and give it the green signal.

Now, things are about to change. Google wants to be more transparent to the user, and inform them why the site they were trying to access was blocked. The Mountain View company has launched a new section to its Safe Browsing service called, the Site Status section. The service as the name suggests will display the safety status of a website, and also shed some light on why the site has been blocked.

Information displayed in the status report, include when the page was last scanned by Google, where the website is hosted, as well as some details about the content which has led to site being blocked. You can see an example of this, in the screenshot posted above.

That being said, I for one, believe that common sense is the most important layer of security, when it comes to browsing. And the first rule in that book, is stay away from the bad sites.