Google Chrome only blocks a quarter of phishing websites, researchers find

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Google’s Chrome web browser only blocks users from visiting about a quarter of suspicious sites that may be part of phishing scams. Which ? claimed.

The consumer group said a study looking for the web addresses of 800 recently discovered phishing sites in a web browser found that Google’s Chrome only blocks 28% when used on Windows and 25% on an Apple computer. Mac.

Who? said it performed the same test on a number of other web browsers, with Mozilla’s Firefox browser performing the best at blocking access to 85% of sites when used on Windows and 78% on Mac – the best result on both platforms.

Phishing scams are those where criminals craft messages that appear genuine in order to trick consumers into clicking a link to a fake website where viruses could be installed on their device, or tricking them into handing over personal information that can be used to access financial information. or online bank accounts.

In response to the findings, a Google spokesperson said it was “difficult to comment” because he had “very little context on the methodology of this report” and that until he saw the report comprehensive, the company said it questions the “validity of the findings.” ”.

“Like many other popular browsers, Chrome uses Google’s Safe Browsing API to protect users against phishing and malware,” the spokesperson said.

“In addition to standard Safe Browsing protection, Chrome offers anti-phishing features such as Predictive Phishing Protection and Enhanced Safe Browsing.”

Phishing scams can take the form of emails, text messages, and direct messages on social media.

To help combat these scams, the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) advises users to think carefully before clicking on a link sent to them, unsolicited, by an organization. It also encourages people to look for telltale signs, including poor spelling or grammar, or a sense of urgency in the message to try to encourage a rash decision.

Security experts also warn that if an offer seems too good to be true, it often is.

“It’s incredibly alarming that a huge company like Google allows the security of its users to be exposed in this way – a gift for fraudsters who constantly try to use phishing attacks as a launching pad for scams that can have a devastating impact on victims,” said IT writer Lisa Barber.

“If you’re worried about your online safety, stay alert when clicking on a link, install a high-quality free or paid antivirus package, keep your browser up-to-date, and sign up for our free e-mail alerts. scams will massively increase your protection against malicious websites.”

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