There is nothing more annoying in browsing the web, and more dangerous, that unwanted and unintended popups. Actually, there is a second thing that comes close to it: unwanted and unintended redirects. This has actually been malware distributors’ and scammers’ Plan B after popups have widely fallen out of fashion and rendered practically useless. In order to combat both the threat and the frustration caused by such redirects, Google will be implementing new safeguards in future versions of the Chrome web browser to make sure you really only go where you want to go.
Web links should only take you to where they say they will. You should never even be taken to another page without doing anything at all. This automatic redirection is not only disconcerting but potentially harmful. But sometimes, web page owners aren’t even aware of the dangers their pages pose simply because the redirection comes from a third-party content beyond their direct control.
Starting Chrome version 64, the browser will block any such automatic redirection coming from third-party frames. Chrome will instead show an info bar that calls the user’s attention, similar to how it behaves when blocking popups. But there might be legitimate times when you do want a redirect to happen from an embedded content. When you directly interact with such frames, Chrome will not block the action.
Quite perplexing are the redirects that do double duty. They open a new tab and take you to a new place but, at the same time, also switch the original tab to a new page, making you lose context. Starting Chrome 65, the main originating tab will no longer automatically redirect to a new page when you get thrown to a new tab.
More dangerous, however, are the links that not only redirect to a page or even an action (like downloading a harmful program) but also masquerade as something else. These include Play buttons that are download links or close buttons that open new tabs or windows. In January, Chrome will also block these. Google is giving conscientious website owners enough time and tools to not only ensure their viewers’ good experience but also make sure they stay in Google’s good graces.