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Google Sets Sights On Eliminating 'Unwanted' Browser Software

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Google is looking to eliminate "unwanted software," which is what Google calls programs that are secretly installed by websites that can change the settings of the user's browser without permission.

The unwanted software could then unleash a torrent of advertisements and website redirects upon the user, which would at the very least frustrate the user and at worst, could cause severe damage on the user's computer.

Google has already launched the warning system that alerts users of the company's Chrome Internet browser if they will be accessing a website that distributes such unwanted software. Google has also recently started to forward information security into a free "safe browsing" application that is also used by the Firefox browser of Mozilla and the Safari browser of Apple.

The safe browsing application is protecting over 1 billion Internet browsers, according to a blog post uploaded by Google.

The Internet Explorer of Microsoft does not use Google's safe browsing application, as the software instead uses Microsoft's SmartScreen Filter, which is similar in function to Google's software.

The alerts that Google has started to use regarding unwanted software is in addition to all the warnings that Google has delivered for websites that spread malware and phishing websites that attempt to trick users into revealing confidential information such as passwords and credit card data.

When the safe browsing application detected a potential threat, it shows a red warning sign that advises the user regarding the risk. Google has also started demoting such risky websites in the rankings of the company's search engine so that fewer users will be likely to visit the dangerous websites.

According to Google, the safe browsing application has generated around 5 million warnings daily, which is a number that will most likely increase with the addition of unwanted software being detected and flagged by the system.

Google said that it uncovers over 50,000 websites infected by malware and over 90,000 websites with phishing methods monthly.

The effectiveness of the safe browsing application in protecting users from malware and phishing has led to the development of more unwanted software to attempt to take advantage of other people, said Google safe browsing product manager Stephan Somogyi.

Somogyi said that Google needs to have constant innovation to keep up with the pace of the people looking to circumvent the safe browsing application through unwanted software, a move that will only be helped by the addition of websites that install unwanted software into the company's Internet security system.

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