Chrome plans to change website address display to avoid scams

Chrome plans to change website address display to avoid scams

Google has started testing a change in the way website URLs are displayed in Chrome. Starting with version 86 of the browser, only the domain name you are currently accessing will appear in the address bar. The goal is to ensure more security by facilitating the identification of possible fraudulent sites.

To better understand the change, just look at how the Chrome address bar currently behaves. The full address of the page is displayed, but only the domain gets a slight highlight, being shown in a darker tone, while the rest of the address remains in a more gray color.

The idea is that Chrome will start to hide this gray part and display only the domain as default. This means that when accessing FreeGameGuide, for example, you will see only the section, even when you are inside a news story. This behavior already exists in Safari and Opera.

By default, only the website domain will appear in the URL. (Image: Google / Disclosure)

Hiding part of the URL can increase security

The goal is to facilitate the identification of sites that change the URL to try to confuse the user. According to Google, a test showed that more than 60% of people are wrong to be presented with a URL containing the name of a company or brand that they know.

One way to use this to apply scams would be to create a fake page that passes by a well-known store, for example. It would be enough to insert the store name at some random point in the URL for many people to be deceived. With the change in Chrome, it will be easier to see that the fake website is not hosted on a store domain, which should make the person more aware of the possibility of having entered a fake page.

For more advanced users, Chrome will offer the possibility to disable this function permanently. This can be done by clicking on the address with the right mouse button and selecting the option "Always show the complete URL". According to Google, the novelty will be shown at random to some users of the test versions of the browser while it is being improved.

There is no date for when the new display will be available in the stable version of the browser, but Google's development calendar indicates that Chrome 86 news should arrive for everyone in October.