Google has started notifying its search engine users of sites in their list of query results that may have been compromised by hackers.
For sites that Google believes have been hacked, search engine users will see a warning pop up, giving them the option to go back to the results page, get more information from Google, or continue on to their intended destination.
Google determines that a site may have been hacked based on certain signs that it detects automatically while it is crawling and indexing its pages for its search engine. In those cases, Google will also attempt to contact the sites’ webmasters to alert them, in case they are unaware of the potential problem.
Google will stop showing the warning once it verifies the problems have been fixed. Webmasters will be able to request expedited reviews of their previously compromised sites.
Google also provides similar warnings for sites it believes infect visitors with malware.
Despite efforts like these from Google and other Internet companies, end users are always advised to use common sense and caution before clicking on search results and online ads.
Just last week, cybercriminals infected online ad networks from Google and Microsoft, placing ads on them that, when clicked on, took users to sites that infected their PCs with malware, according to security consultancy Armorize.