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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Google Chrome may just show website names and not full URLs to keep you safe

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Google is testing a new way to keep you safe from scams and phishing attacks by simply hiding the full URL and showing the domain name only in Chrome. In the Google Chrome 86 release, the full URL is automatically hidden but you can always expand and look at it. This could be one of the ways of being safe online as attackers mostly tweak well known URLs to cheat users. For example, having a Facebook lookalike URL with three ‘O’ instead of two.
In this case, if you happen to click a malicious link that appears to be from Facebook, you will immediately get to know that it’s not the real Facebook page as Chrome will show the true domain name which will be different from the original Facebook domain.
Google is simply considering this as an experiment and has not revealed any plans to release this any time soon. “In Chrome 86, we’re likewise going to experiment with how URLs are shown in the address bar on desktop platforms (animation below). 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,” Google said in the official Chromium blog.
Meanwhile, if you happen to already use Chrome 86 and do not want to use this feature then you have two options to see the full URL. You can hover over the URL, and it will expand fully. Or else, you can right-click on the URL, and choose “Always show full URLs” in the context menu. Google confirms that enabling this setting will show the full URL for all future sites you visit.

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