Google promises that its main webpage, Google.com, is free from malware and scam threats, after its own security tools flagged it as risky on Wednesday.
On April 20, the Safe Browsing tool modified the status of the search engine's main page from "not dangerous" to "partially dangerous." Safe Browsing is part of the company's ongoing safety features that scan the web for malicious content.
Transparency Report warned Internet surfers about the risks of malware infection and credit card data getting stolen, as Google's search site had several security liabilities.
"Some pages on this website install malware on visitors' computers," warns the tool. At the time of the writing, the page shows the status as being "not dangerous."
A couple of other warnings can be found on the official security page. They state that certain pages on this website will redirect visitors to potentially hazardous websites. Some examples are 40d0dfd9-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com, 7b726aeb-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com and polnu4ewtan4iwki.ws.
The page notes other places to stay away from, such as maeaflordapele.com, valeimaginar.blogspot.com, and bou7out.blogspot.com.
You should not take the warnings as a verdict of unreliability from Google, as much as a warning that users abuse the search engine with nefarious purposes in mind. One thing to take away from the story is that users should be mindful when clicking through links that take them to unknown websites. Shortly put, Google.com page is as safe as it can be.
The main search engine's page is not the only one that sports warnings. Many sites that consist mainly of user-created content feature the same level of risk.
For example, Facebook.com has rather similar safety details and is labeled "not dangerous." In the same area are webpages such as: Reddit.com, bing.com and yahoo.com.
While Google.com switched toward a safe status, some user-content-reliant pages remained on the risky side.
Notable mentions go to microblogging platform Tumblr.com and techie code sharing site Github.com. They remain classified as "partially dangerous" until further notice.
Safe Browsing looks at billions of URLs each day in its investigation for unsafe sites. As soon as a security threat is detected, notifications get sent to users and to the site's webmaster.
The Transparencey report page urges Internet users not to panic.
"Users sometimes post bad content on websites that are normally safe," assures Google.