Seeing a screen flashing with the ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ warning, usually in red, is never a good sign when you wish to visit your website. Different website browsers usually show this message to warn oncoming traffic that the requested site may contain malicious code, backdoor scripts, suspicious content, spyware or malware programs, problematic software that can impersonate famous sites, etc. Previously considered secure websites that have been recently hacked or have weak security infrastructure may also set off such warnings.
Popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox have turned on the feature of detection of such compromised websites as a default selection. Often, there arises confusion if seeing the warning itself implies that the user has been infected – this is not true, since the risk of infection only arises if the user ignores the warning and enters the site.
While the site may be legitimate, the appearance of such warnings lets you know that you have been protected from data loss or computer infection since hackers only require the smallest loopholes to manipulate a website.
Different kinds of ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ warning
When you step into a suspicious website, the warning may not always be worded in a similar manner as mentioned above. Here are some other variations of the same warning that you may run into:
- Continue to (website name)?
- The site ahead contains harmful programs
- The site ahead contains malware
- The page is trying to load scripts from unauthenticated sources
- Deceptive Website Warning
The entire purpose of the warning is to prevent loading the content of the website since it seems potentially harmful and containing malware that could infect the site’s visitors, no matter the browser used.
Removing the ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ warning
There’s a provision to remove this warning from whichever browser you use – be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. While this is not a recommended action if you require this option temporarily for entering any unsafe websites before turning the protective feature back on.
For Google Chrome:
- Open the browser and type “chrome:\\settings” in the URL bar
- Click on the “Sync and Google Services” option visible on the screen
- Then, scroll down and find out another option “Other Google Services”, under which “Safe Browsing” will be shown. You can select this as off.
For Mozilla Firefox:
- Open the browser to find the icon with three bars on the top-right corner.
- Select “Options” to find “Privacy and Security”.
- Under the “Security” section – there’ll be many options under this, and you can deselect those that you don’t want to get a warning for.
- Select the Safari menu, under which you need to select “Preferences”
- Go to the “Extensions” tab
- Choose the extensions you want to delete and then go to the “Uninstall” button next to it
For Microsoft Edge:
- Go to the “Menu” option on the upper right corner
- Under this, you’ll get the option “Extensions” – identify any recently installed suspicious extensions or browser add-ons
- Press “Remove” to uninstall them
- If the warnings persist, you have the option of going to “Settings” under “Menu”, and then choosing “Restore settings to their default values”.
Measures to fix the ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ warning
For webmasters seeking to remove this warning from their websites, this complete deceptive site ahead removal guide will come in handy. Those looking to strengthen their website security that may keep such warning messages at bay can follow this extensive list of website security tips. Some important steps that these guide echoes are given below:
Installing SSL certificate
When installing this certificate, make sure it’s done from a trusted SSL authority like Comodo or Digicert and not a self-signed certificate. These certificates are required for authentication purposes and for passing through encrypted connections.
Users will also view your site as secure since the information they send or receive is secure and the ‘HTTP’ URLs have changed to ‘HTTPS’ URLs (the latter can be done with a redirection rule via the ‘.htaccess’ file or with an automated URL rewriting options made possible by the hosting provider.
Update outdated themes, extensions and the CMS platform
CMS platforms – including WordPress, Joomla, Wix, Drupal, etc – all updates to currently installed versions should be initiated quickly as these contain security patches for newly identified issues.
There’s also a possibility of outdated themes and plugins containing outdated scripts and other vulnerabilities which makes it easier for hackers to compromise the site and place backdoors for repeated entries.
Scanning the site for malware
While the hosting provider will have a basic level of anti-malware protection, steps need to be taken from your side to cement the security barriers. One way to test this is to download the site’s content using FTP and then testing it with the local antivirus on your system. It is also recommended to do periodic security testing for your site.
Warnings such as ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ may pop up now and then – if these occurrences are too frequent, you can always contact security professionals like Astra Security for long-term security strategies!