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Chrome is fighting back against browser redirects and ‘trick to click’ links

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Google has announced a number of new protective features in versions 64 and 65 of the Chrome browser. Specifically targeting stealthy redirects and “trick to click” links that nefarious web designers use to exploit visitors, Google hopes the new Chrome protections will make it the safest browser available.

Although the days of endlessly closing popups are mostly behind us, there are still irritating practices in place that encourage additional windows to open or redirect people to websites with dodgy content. Google has been making several changes to its security and protective systems over the past few months and the new measures in the upcoming editions of Chrome will continue to do that.

The first new protection to be put in place will debut with Chrome 64 and will prevent any third-party content from forcing a redirect of the browser. That means no more browsing a page to suddenly find it whisks you away to something else entirely. Instead, an infobar will appear to find out if the redirect was intended and desired, or not.

Following along behind that addition in Chrome 65 will be a feature that prevents links from opening in a new tab, while the original page navigates somewhere else. Since that’s effectively a way to circumvent Chrome’s built-in pop-up blocker, Google will stop that moving forward. When a website tries to do that in the future edition of Chrome, the browser will block it and display a small infobar to inform the user of what has happened.

The intended link will still open as usual, but the original web page will be retained for additional context.

Another protection being implemented by Google is a combination of several factors that will look to block sly tactics to encourage clicks. So-called “trick to click,” practices. These involve things like fake play buttons on videos and transparent but clickable page overlays.

Come January, Chrome’s pop-up blocker will automatically detect such tactics and will stop the redirect from happening. They simply won’t be able to open new windows or tabs.

Although such tactics are considered rather malicious or at least underhanded, to help site owners figure out if their’s is using any of these sorts of tactics, Google’s also launching a new Abuse Experience report. Any abusive experiences left unaddressed for 30 days will automatically trigger prevention methods.

It’s hoped that together, all of these new measures will make a big improvement to the modern browsing experience for Chrome users.

For those wanting even more protection, check out our recommended Chrome extensions.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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