Chrome Web Browser Can Hide Address Bar from Sight

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Oh no. I hope it isn’t true.

“You hope what isn’t true?”

Someone’s saying that Google might try to kill the URL bar. I really hope not.

“Google might kill the what?”

You know, the URL bar. Or the Address Bar.

“The what?”

The thing at the top of your browser window that displays the URL, the address, of the website you’re looking at.

“Oh. That. I never look at it.”

Don’t you?

“No.”

Why not?

“All that http whatchamacallit junk. It doesn’t make any sense to me, so I don’t bother to look at it.”

Ah. You should, though.

“Why?”

Because that’s one method scammers use to scam people. Especially when they’re phishing for personal data. They send you to a website that looks like your bank, or like Paypal, or like Amazon, and ask for your password. But if you looked carefully at the URL bar, you might notice that the address displayed there isn’t correct – it’s a fake. That’s one reason phishing works.

“Sorry, what did you say? I got bored and switched off for a moment.”

Scammers take advantage of the fact that people don’t bother to keep an eye on the URL bar. They take you to a site that looks like Paypal, but the actual address might be paypalaccounts.com, or paypal-login.com, or something like that. Something that looks plausible, but is actually owned by the scammer.

“Meh. I depend on my browser’s security settings to detect that kind of stuff for me. Most browsers can alert you when you arrive at a page like that. Including Google’s Chrome, actually. It has tickbox in the preferences called ‘Enable phishing and malware detection.’ I just leave that on and don’t worry about watching the URL bar.”

So you think this idea for a hideaway URL bar, one that only pops out when you need it, is a good one?

“Pff. Yeah. I guess. I don’t really use it, so why not?”

Don’t you ever type in website addresses?

“Are you crazy?”

Type them in. You don’t do that?

“No. Nobody does that.”

I do. I do it all the time. I love the URL bar. And it’s not just me. There must be other nerdy types like me who type into the URL bar.

“You are crazy. You’re weird. Nobody cares about URLs. You don’t need to know where anything is on the internet, Google knows that for you. You just search for it, whatever it is. URLs are for old-timers like you. Now hurry up and finish your order, there’s a line of people behind you and they all want coffee too.”

(via Ars Technica)

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