Google Cracks Down on Repeat Offenders

Google Cracks Down on Repeat Offenders

As of September of 2014, there are more than one billion websites on the Internet. While many of them are designed with the intent of helping users find answers to their questions, offering them goods and services, or providing entertainment, a handful of them have the end goal of negatively affecting programs, damaging devices, or harvesting personal information. Google has taken it upon themselves to attempt to protect users from these malicious websites by instigating Safe Browsing, a series of systems designed to tag sites that might be dangerous, and they’ve recently stepped up their game.

What is Google Safe Browsing?

Current estimates suggest that up to 30,000 websites are infected with malware every day. Many of these sites are not spreading it intentionally; Many of these are legitimate sites that are unaware their security has been compromised. Cybercriminals tend to target specific websites, such as online banking or sales sites, granting them access to personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords and other sensitive personal information.

Launched more than 10 years ago, Google Safe Browsing was designed with the sole intent of protecting users from dangerous websites, namely those that incorporate things such as malware, unwanted software, and social engineering. Since then, hundreds of millions of users have enjoyed the benefits of this service, many without even knowing it. These security measures have become second nature to users, due in large part to Google’s seamless infrastructure integration.

What Are Repeat Offenders?

Google announced an update to this system earlier this month, due to a handful of malicious websites that have discovered ways to work around the security measures implemented by Safe Browsing. This update will use the same criteria to recognize these websites, but will now tag them as “Repeat Offenders.”

If a website is recognized as violating policies, they are flagged with a full-page warning to users, notifying them of the inherent dangers associated with the site. In the past, a web page would simply have to remove the causes of these red-flags to have this warning lifted. Many webmasters discovered that once the warning was lifted, they could simply reinstate the malicious practices and continue where they left off.

The difference for “Repeat Offenders” is that websites will now be required to wait 30 days to have these warnings lifted, pending a review from the Google Safe Browsing team. By marking these potentially dangerous sites with a warning for a minimum of 30 days, the intent is to discourage both malicious intent from webmasters themselves, but also prevent users from unknowingly being harmed online.

Ensuring Your Site is Safe

It should be noted that Google isn’t implementing the repeat offender “scarlet webpage” warning for those that have been compromised without their knowledge, only those doing so intentionally. If you have been notified that your web page is violating policies, or suspect that you might have been compromised, you can always check it through the Google Transparency Report page, or follow these steps to recover a hacked website.

The experts at Utah SEO Pros have the experience to not only maintain your website, but also help in the recovery process if you have been infected by a malicious attack. As Google Partners, we understand that protecting your customers is as important as protecting your website, and will do everything we can to keep both from falling victim to an attack. Contact us here, or call us at 801-413-7734 to learn more about our services.

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Jonah Napoli
With a degree focused on writing, photography, videography, public relations, marketing and digital media, I offer numerous multimedia and technological skills gleaned in an academic environment and applied in the real world. I first fell in love with journalism at the age of 17. Since then, I have been published a number of newspapers in the state of Utah, including The Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and the Millard County Chronicle Progress.
Jonah Napoli

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