Back in the news again today, and for a very welcomed move, Google has started to issue warnings when search results are returned that could potentially lead a user to malicious code.

The Stop Badware Coalition has provided data to Google that will allow the search giant to flag sites that are potentially host to malicious software. When users try to go to a website that has been identified as potentially dodgy they are taken instead to a warning page. The special Google warning page looks like this:

Warning - the site you are about to visit may harm your computer!
You can learn more about malware and how to protect yourself at


* Return to the previous page and pick another result.
* Try another search to find what you're looking for.

Naturally, users still have the option to proceed to the sites, but at their own risk. This was all made possible by the work of, launched in January by Harvard University's Berkman Centre and the Oxford Internet Institute, who aim to get a kind of "neighbourhood watch" thing on the go to warn users about the potential dangers of some sites.

"Hopefully this next step will bring us that much closer to fulfilling our mission of providing people with reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in order to help them make better choices," said in a blog posting.