Web notifications are a bit of a double-edged sword. They offer you an instant way to connect with the latest news and features from your favorite websites but, unfortunately, they also give annoying scammers the chance to bombard you with pop-ups on their sites to try and get you to turn on their notifications. It looks like Google is trying to change this, however, and is targeting those annoying scammers.
In Google’s The Keyword blog, Tarun Bansal, a Software Engineer working on the Chrome browser, has outlined several updates Google is implementing on Chrome that will use machine learning to make it a better and more helpful browser. One of these features promises to clamp down on “annoying prompts”.
According to the post, Google rolled out an update in March that uses machine learning to identify malicious sites and phishing attacks. Thanks to the update, Chrome is able to identify 2.5 times as many such attacks.
To further develop this, Chrome is launching a further machine learning model that will work to improve predictions relating to the push notification subscription prompts the browser will show you. Chrome uses machine learning to predict when you will likely be happy to see a prompt from a site asking you to subscribe to its push notifications and when you won’t. If it thinks the prompt is from a scam site or will just annoy you it will hide the prompt from view. When Google rolls out the next update of Chrome, that machine learning model will take place on your own device.
This is a welcome move from Google because we have been seeing a lot of cybersecurity issues recently with many different types of phishing attacks making the news. These have included phishing scams hidden in fake job offers, on major crypto websites, and a huge scam aimed at Facebook Messenger users. It is also true, though that these types of prompts can be very annoying. If you think you are getting too many push notifications already, we have put together a helpful guide to unsubscribing from push notifications for you.