Google Will Now Warn You About Sites With Fake Download Buttons

Finding the right download button on a website is the least fun version of hide and seek ever invented and fake download buttons are becoming overwhelming. Now, Google’s taking action to warn users when sites engage in this kind of deceptive behavior.

As Google explains on its Online Security Blog, sites with any kind of ads that deceptively try to mimic actual site functionality will now be counted as “social engineering.” This includes fake download buttons, warnings that software you don’t have is “out of date”, and fake notifications to update things like Flash player. When a site uses these tricks, Google will display a big red warning before a user visits the site. Hopefully, this will discourage shadier sites from using underhanded tactics to trick users into clicking on ads, or at least, prevent users from getting duped.

Along with this, we strongly encourage using a good ad blocking extension, such as uBlock Origin.