Google has begun warning users about visiting websites that include malware capable of damaging computers. Security software, including the latest beta of McAfee’s upcoming Internet Security Suite and Microsoft’s OneCare Live, have been offering a similar functionality, but a warning delivered directly by a search engine is a fairly new trend.
Search results are still presented by the search engine in a familiar way and do not include information whether a site may include malware such as spyware or even trojan horses and worms. Instead, Google chose to warn the user once he has clicked on a link: Before actually navigating to the site selected, Google informs the user that “the site you are about to visit may harm your computer.” The user still has the option to continue to the site or return to the search result listing and pick another page.
Scandoo.com recently has launched a similar service, which offers “just” a frontend for the search engines of Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask.com. Scandoo evaluates the search results of the engines and marks individual results with a logo that either indicate that a site may contain offensive or potentially harmful content. Other than Google, Users are also able to “redefine” the rating of individual pages.