TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
As the average internet user becomes more savvy, shady individuals have been forced to turn to more subtle methods of scamming people. As such, one of the most common modern methods of spreading malware and other harmful content is fake downloads.
Whether they're found in convincing (or not so convincing) spam emails or fake download button "ads" on file sharing websites, one click can sometimes be all it takes to put your system at risk. Experienced PC users will likely know how to spot risky downloads, but even they can be prone to mistakes from time to time.
That's why Google is rolling out a security expansion to its Advanced Protection Program (APP). The program, for the unaware, helps safeguard the data of public figures – such as journalists, corporate executives, or politicians – using two-factor authentication and other safety measures. Moving forward, the program will also offer malicious download protection to anyone who is in the program and has Chrome Sync enabled.
Moving forward, any Chrome users who have opted into the APP will receive a warning when they download a malicious file; whether the download was a direct result of user interaction (such as clicking on a fake download button) or not.
If Chrome decides that the file is particularly dangerous, it may even block the download outright. It's unclear whether or not this feature will arrive for regular Chrome users, too, but we wouldn't be surprised if it did – even if it takes a while.
Internet security is something many clued-in tech enthusiasts value, so anything that can better protect their data would likely be met with positivity.