Google Docs expands warnings about dubious files and links

Google’s Office collaboration tools Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings now display a warning banner when you open potentially malicious files from the web the search giant has announced. This banner already appears when accessing shady files from Driveas well as suspicious links in it Cut Files for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings. The broader rollout should help protect users in a wider range of situations.

Confusingly Google’s January 20 announcement post said that the banner was already showing when opening links to google docs, spreadsheets, slides and drawings. However, the company tells us that this was a typo and should instead say that the banner points to “links out of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings files.

The warning banners appear to be an attempt to combat scams that use Google’s office productivity software to create a semblance of authenticity around shady links and phishing attempts. 2020, Wired reported on a wave of scams that used Google’s various sharing and collaboration features to get their malicious files in front of unsuspecting users. By clicking a link in any of these documents, a user is redirected to a website full of shady ads or a typical phishing site that asks them to enter bank or other account details.

Google’s announcement states that the new warning banner will roll out to all accounts, business and personal alike, over the next few weeks. Google Docs expands warnings about dubious files and links

Fry Electronics Team

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