In Chrome 86, Google combats phishing with shortened URLs

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To combat phishing, Google will try out shortened URLs with version 86 of Google Chrome.

The use of shortened URLs surfaced a few months ago in the developer channels of Google Chrome, but in Chrome 86 the feature will become available to more users. That version is expected to be released at the end of this month.

Google selects a random number of users for the feature, who are then given a choice of two different options. A shortened URL is always displayed (domain only), but a full version if you hold the mouse over the URL bar. The other option always displays the URL in full.

Chrome users who have not been selected to participate in the test can still try out the feature via the Dev Channel or Chrome Canary.

According to Google, the experiment will have to show whether just showing the domain name ensures faster recognition of phishing. One practice frequently used by phishers is forging an entire site and a website that has part of the legitimate domain in its name. By only showing the full domain name, this should be noticed more quickly.

Apart from the shortened URL test, Chrome 86 will also get another big feature: throttling javascript timers to significantly improve battery life.

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