Is Google.com Dangerous? Not Exactly

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The World Wide Web can be a scary place. But there is one beacon of light users can count on—or can they?

Google's Safe Browsing tool, which scans "billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites," on Tuesday labeled Google.com as "partially dangerous." First spotted by a Reddit user, and reported by The Washington Post, the service warned folks that "google.com" may "contain deceptive content."

As of press time, Google's home page is no longer considered unsafe, and there is no word on what caused the brief warning. The company did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Don't fret if you visited google.com on Tuesday: You probably didn't unwittingly download a virus or open the door to hackers. It's more likely someone used Google services to host malware, the Post said, and the online tool simply flagged the whole domain.

"Users sometimes post bad content on websites that are normally safe," Google's safety service said.

This does not appear to be the first time this has happened. In November, Search Engine Roundtable reported a similar status warning, during which the Safe Browsing site suggested "attackers on [google.com] might try to trick you to download software or steal your information."

Google Safe Browsing dates back to 2007; in 2011, the company started warning users if they attempted to download a suspected malicious file. Google later expanded that to issue warnings about websites and the Chrome for Android.

As the Post pointed out, Google.com was not the only victim of "partially dangerous" content this week: tumblr.com and github.com were also marked, presumably for similar reasons.

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