Over the past year, Google has expanded what Safe Browsing warns and protects against, as well as the type of devices the protection is available on. The security feature will now label sites that only temporarily clean up harmful activity as “Repeat Offenders.”

Currently, sites in violation of Malware, Unwanted Software, Phishing, and Social Engineering policies will show warnings until Google verifies that the site is no longer harmful. This verification process is either triggered automatically or at the request of sites.

However, Google has encountered a “small number of websites” that only temporarily stop harming users to have a successful review and the Safe Browsing warnings lifted. They will then revert back and continue harmful activity.

To address this gap in user protection and reduce risk to end users, sites that repeatedly switch between compliant and policy-violating behavior within a “short window of time” will be labeled as Repeat Offenders. Once a site has received the label, site owners will be contacted and unable to request additional reviews for 30 days.

Websites that are hacked will not be classified as Repeat Offenders; only those that purposefully post harmful content will be subject to the new policy.

Late last year, Safe Browsing was expanded to Chrome for Android and in September to third-party apps through Google Play services. Additionally, it was extended to Gmail on the web and protects against nefarious links this year.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: