Despite challenges, URLs are the age-old way users identify and determine a website’s authenticity. Phishing, scams, and social engineering run rampant – especially when hackers easily manipulate URLs to confuse users purposefully.
The new version of Google Chrome 86, which is set to release in October, will hide most of a website’s URL. This experimental trial will roll out on randomly-chosen participants’ browsers. Google Chrome security team members Emily Stark, Eric Mill, and Shweta Panditrao wrote on the blog: “Our goal is to understand – through real-world usage – whether showing URLs this way helps users realize they’re visiting a malicious website, and protects them from phishing and social engineering attacks.”
Instead of showing the entire URL in Chrome’s address bar, trial participants will see a “registrable domain,” which is the most significant part of the domain name, sometimes displayed as the primary company or business. This change might make it easier for users to ensure they are in the right place and not a malicious site they were tricked into visiting.
The complete URL can still be accessed by moving the cursor over the address bar and hovering it. Chrome will then reconstitute the URL into its original form. Moreover, users can right-click “Always show full URLs,” which will set the address bar to show the URL for all sites automatically.
Read more about Google’s anti-phishing attempts in this article.
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