Have you heard of Google Safe Browsing? For more than eight years, Google has been finding unsafe websites and alerting people that these unsafe sites may cause you or your devices harm. (Photo above.)
Google estimates that Safe Browsing alerts protect "tens of millions" of online users from harm every week. Often, Google Safe Browsing alerts people to phishing scams.
Those are scams where cybercriminals trick you into sharing your ID, like your name and Social Security number. Or they take you to a malicious website, then infect your computer with malware.
In traditional phishing scams, cybercriminals deceive you by using the logos and letterhead of companies your respect, or government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service that get your attention. In November, Google expanded its focus beyond phishing scams to protect you against what it calls Social Engineering Attacks.
This is Web content that's designed to look like it comes from a trusted company. Now, Google has added alerts for "social engineering ads," which are images or buttons that cybercriminals use to trick you into clicking on a link. Google is sharing some examples of social engineering ads, like this one.
With the social engineering ad on the previous page, cybercriminals trick you into clicking on a link with an Update button. Below are two more examples of how cybercriminals use social engineering ads to steal your ID or infect your devices with malware. (Note: If you're a Web publisher, keep reading for an important alert.)
Here's another one:
Note: If you publish a website that uses social engineering content, Google may warn your site's visitors with a Google Safe Browsing alert. If your site is being flagged as one containing social engineering content, Google suggests you go to Search Console, to fix the issue.