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Google Chrome will soon save you from misspelled look-alike URLs

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With phishing attacks, email scams, and malware, the web can be quite a dangerous place. Well, Google is out to save you from some of the trouble. It is adding a feature to the popular Chrome web browser which will warn you about misspelled lookalike URLs that intend to imitate real websites, according to a report from ZDNet.

The feature is currently being beta tested in Google Chrome Canary 70 and can be enabled by using the chrome://flags/#enable-lookalike-url-navigation-suggestions flag. Once it is selected, Chrome will show a warning message under the Ombnibar and a new suggestion will appear, if you happen to type in the URL of a website which it determines is bogus or known to steal login credentials or imitate other authentic services.

As an example, ZDNet suggests that fake websites can include instances such as paypall.com, or coịnbạse.com. However, in our testing, the standard version of Google Chrome already automatically redirects paypall.com to the legit PayPal website.

This same flag can also be found on standard non-beta versions of Google Chrome but doesn’t appear to work as it does in the Canary ring. That suggests that the feature isn’t quite ready just yet, and might officially be coming in a future release. Emily Stark, a member of Google’s usable security team also demonstrated the feature during a recent presentation focused on web security.

This wouldn’t be the first security-themed feature that Google has pushed out to the Chrome web browser. Recently, Google attempted to fight websites which hijack your back button and tab history to generate views on advertisements. Google is also on a mission to fight phishing and recently released a quiz which attempts to educate internet users on how to avoid getting attacked.

As always, when browsing the web, it is best to keep careful and manually verify all URLs you visit, but it is nice to see that Google Chrome will now automatically help out. Typically, you should also check to see if there is a green lock next to the URL, as this will alert you to secure connections, site certificates, and other web settings.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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