Yahoo Bans Bad Sites from Search Results
Yahoo has taken a major step in removing malicious sites from its search results.
With the new security feature — slated to take effect Tuesday — people who search the Internet using Yahoo will see a red exclamation point and a warning next to links McAfee has identified as serving dangerous downloads or using visitors’ e-mail addresses to send out spam. Dangerous downloads can include “adware,” which shows unwanted advertisements; “spyware,” which secretly tracks users’ keystrokes and other actions; and other malicious programs that can give criminals control over users’ computers.
Yahoo has decided to simply nuke the worst offenders — sites that attempt “drive-by downloads,” or trying to automatically install malicious code on visitors’ computers by exploiting coding flaws in their Web browsers. If McAfee has identified a site as having employed such tactics, Yahoo users won’t see the link at all.
Since Yahoo has only 21 percent of the search engine market, user benefit will be relatively small unless people change their habits in droves. Of course, one would expect market leader Google to step up with a similar feature very soon.