Upcoming Chrome Releases Will Prevent Abusive Page Redirects

Google announced that, starting with version 64, the Chrome browser will prevent pages from redirecting to third-party content in unexpected ways.

Iframe Redirects

Google said that one in five Chrome feedback reports mention encountering some type of unwanted content. The company noted that it’s taking user feedback seriously, so beyond Chrome’s existing pop-up blocker and autoplay protections, it will bring three new protections over the next few releases of Chrome that are designed to stop unwanted content.

One piece of feedback from Chrome users is that sometimes a page will navigate to a different page unexpectedly. Google found that often this is not even what the page’s author intended, as the behavior is created by third-party content embedded on the page that wasn’t supposed to redirect visitors to another page.

To address this issue, Chrome 64 will stop such iframe redirects and then show the user an information bar explaining that the redirect was blocked. Chrome will prevent the redirect only if it happens automatically and the user wasn’t interacting with the frame.

Redirects Enabled By User Interaction

Even when the user interacts with the frame, things can go wrong. Some websites open content the user tried to access in a new tab and then redirect the main page to a different website, for example, which effectively bypasses Chrome’s pop-up blocker.

Starting with Chrome 65, this type of behavior will also be curbed by Chrome. When the main tab tries to redirect to another website, Chrome will prevent it from doing so and will also show the user an information bar. This new protection will allow the user to check out the opened content in the new page while also staying on the original page.

Overlay Redirects

Google noted that there are other types of abusive experience that are difficult to automatically detect. Sometimes websites have overlays on them that capture all clicks and redirect users to another site, or the redirect links are embedded within the play button of a video player.

Starting next January, Chrome’s pop-up blocker will prevent these sites from opening new windows or tabs. To help site owners ensure that their websites won’t be blocked from opening content in new tabs or windows, Google has released the Abusive Experiences Report. The tool will warn the site owners if Chrome’s new protections will prevent content on their websites so they can take the appropriate action to remove such content from their websites.

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