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Google Chrome will now block all offensive site popups

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Google Chrome will now block all offensive site popups

Google Chrome

(Image credit: Shutterstock)


With the release of Chrome 86 earlier this month, Google is now automatically hiding popups on websites that display abusive notification content to visitors.


The search giant first introduced its “quite notification permission UI” back in Chrome 80 and it was later improved upon in Chrome 84 when the company began automatically enrolling sites in its notification anti-spam system that use deceptive patterns to request notification permissions.


In the latest version of Chrome, the new enforcement focuses on notification content and is triggered by sites that have a history of sending messages to users in notifications that contain abusive content. For instance, some sites use web notifications to send malware or to impersonate system messages in an effort to obtain user's login credentials.


Now when users visit a site known for pushing intrusive notifications, they'll be automatically blocked on desktop while on mobile, a popup from Chrome will appear informing them that “This site may be trying to trick you into allowing intrusive notifications”. However, desktop users can also view this message by clicking on the crossed out bell icon in their address bar. Users will have the option to have Chrome continue blocking notifications from a site, though they can also allow them if they believe the site is safe.

Abusive notifications

In order to find which sites are abusing notifications, Google will use its automated web crawlers to subscribe to push notifications on sites across the web. Notifications that are then sent to these automated Chrome instances will be evaluated for abusive content using the company's Safe Browsing technology. Any sites found to be sending abusive notifications will be flagged for enforcement if the issue is unresolved.


Site owners can prevent their notifications from being blocked by using the Search Console Abusive Notifications Report to find out if Google's web crawler has detected any abusive notification behavior from their sites.


At the same time though, the company will notify registered site owners by email 30 days before enforcement begins so that they can address any abusive notification issues and request that their site be reviewed again.


While site notifications in Chrome can be useful, they can also easily be abused. However, thanks to Google's new enforcement policies, users are less likely to have malware installed on their systems or their credentials stolen when they visit less than reputable sites.



Google Chrome will now block all offensive site popups



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Google Chrome will now block all offensive site popups Abusive notifications can be used to spread malware or steal user credentials (Image credit: Shutterstock)

I would install uBlock Origin and NoScript extension to further safeguard against these popups. Can't rely on Google Chrome's popup protection alone, it needs a backup.

Google is still trying to get notification abuse under control in Google Chrome


Google announced an extension to its effort to get notification abuse under control in the company's Chrome web browser. Starting in Chrome 86, the company is expanding its efforts to limit the abuse of notifications for users of the browser.


Chrome, like most modern web browsers, supports web notifications. The main idea behind the notifications is simple: give sites and web apps a tool at hands to inform (notify) users. Notifications may inform users about site updates or news, but are also abused by sites for advertisement or, in the extreme case, malicious purposes. While it is true that users need to accept the notification request in first place, sites may use deception to get them to allow notifications.


Tip: you can disable notifications in Chrome easily.


Google introduced quieter notification permission requests in Chrome 80 and started to enroll sites with "abusive notification permission requests" automatically so that their permission requests would use the quite notification user interface instead of the default permissions prompt.


Starting in Chrome 86, Google is doing the same now for notification content. Sites that use notifications to send "messages containing abusive content" will have their notifications blocked automatically in the Chrome browser by default. The blocking is supported by desktop and mobile versions of the Google Chrome web browser.


chrome notifications blocked


Blocked does not mean that users are not informed about the notification attempt. Chrome will display the notification blocked icon in the browser's address bar and users may activate the icon to display a prompt with the following message.

Notifications blocked

This site may be trying to trick you into allowing intrusive notifications

Options are"allow" and "continue blocking"; the former allows notifications and bypasses Chrome's blocking, the latter does the same as a click on the x-icon, it keeps the blocking in place.


Google uses its web crawler to determine whether sites send out abusive notifications. The company notes that the web crawler will subscribe to website notifications and that its Safe Browsing technology is used to determine whether the content is abusive.  Sites are flagged if Safe Browsing determines that notification content is abusive, and webmasters will be informed about the fact in Google's Search Console. A grace period of 30 days is given to resolve the outstanding issue and request a review. Sites that fail to do so will have their notification content blocked in Google Chrome.


While not explicitly mentioned, it is very likely that the same blocking mechanism will find its way into other Chromium-based browsers.



Google is still trying to get notification abuse under control in Google Chrome



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