Yahoo started to add a new feature to their search results pages called Searchscan which basically informs the user when a website is listed in the search results that has potentially dangerous content. According to Cybernet News three different warning messages are displayed in the search results depending on the dangers that await the user on these websites. One website can be flagged with more than one of the warning messages.
A Dangerous Downloads warning means that the website is serving potentially dangerous software that contains viruses or spyware. Unsolicited Emails on the other hand refers to websites that either send unsolicited emails to users or sell user emails. Sites that are flagged as Browser Exploits will not appear in the search engines anymore.
The options provide a way to change the default Searchscan setting which warns the user from potentially dangerous websites to removing those websites from the search results list or disabling Searchscan altogether.
The warning message appears above all search results to warn the user that some of the websites in the results are potentially dangerous and are also appearing right beneath the title of the website using red text and an exclamation mark icon.
This could help protect users who do not care enough about the dangerous corners of the Internet. I'm not sure on the other hand about the effectiveness of the service. How often is the database updated, how are new sites added to the list ? Still, all in all, it's good to see that search engines start to take responsibilities.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.