Report Suspicious Sites To Google Using This Chrome Extension

Report Suspicious Sites To Google Using This Chrome Extension
Eek. (Screenshot: David Murphy)

If you’ve used Chrome for any length of time, you’ve probably stumbled across its scary red interstitial—otherwise known as the Google Safe Browsing warning. If you’re attempting to pull up a site that looks problematic, like a malware host, Chrome will prevent you from doing so unless you do a little digging to bypass its warning.

While that can’t-miss-it red blocker should be all the help you need to keep yourself from visiting websites you don’t want to be on, Google also offers a few extra tools you can use to check a site’s “Safe Browsing status,” including a brand-new Suspicious Site Reporter Chrome extension.

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Install it, and a little icon in your browser will tell you if the website you’re currently visiting seems suspicious. If you agree—something feels off about its presentation, or it tries to push some scammy download during your browsing experience—you can also use the extension to flag the site for Google.

With enough reports (I’m assuming), Google will take a closer look at the site and consider giving it the big red warning, if its truly problematic.

In other words, you’ll be helping your fellow web citizens stay safer during their browsing by reporting potentially unsafe sites you visit. Please don’t be a jerk and report sites you simply disagree with, because that’s annoying and Google is probably not going to consider someone’s Facebook page (or whatever) to be an unsafe website. Good try.

Beyond that, Google also offers a little web-based tool you can use to check the “Safe Browsing status” of any website you want.

While most people will probably just wait for their browser to say “DON’T VISIT THAT SITE”—or this new extension to suggest when things appear strange—it doesn’t hurt to keep this tool in your back pocket if you’d like another way to verify whether Google has security-checked a site or not.

Screenshot: David Murphy

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