How to fix “Website with harmful software warning”?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix “Website with harmful software warning”?

Safari shows me “website with harmful software warning” error when I try to access a few websites. The alert tells that the website might trick me into installing some malicious software. Why do I see this error? Can I remove it?

Solved Answer

“Website with harmful software warning” is a security alert delivered by Safari web browser.[1] Typically, when you try to access malicious or phishing website,[2] the browser delivers the following message:

Website With Harmful Software Warning
This website may try to trick you into installing software that harms your browsing experience, like changing your settings without your permission or showing you unwanted ads. Once installed, it may be difficult to remove.

The reason why you receive Harmful software warning might be that someone shared malicious content using a share link. Hence, this security alert can appear on the screen when you click on a direct download link. In this way, Safari protects from the instant installation of potentially dangerous software.

However, some users report that browser delivers “Website with harmful software warning” when they are accessing a familiar domain. We want to remind that even legitimate and popular websites can be compromised by cyber criminals any minutes. Therefore, Safari might deliver a reasonable alert and actually protect your machine from cyber infection.

Though, if you are certain that the link is absolutely safe and the website does not include malware, you can click “visit this unsafe website” link and fix “Website with harmful software warning” problem. However, we still recommend checking the link first.[3] Taking precautions requires less time than malware removal.

Fix "Website with harmful software warning”

Steps to take after receiving Harmful Software Warning error

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You can bypass “Website with harmful software warning” by clicking “visit this unsafe website” link at the end of the notification. However, before that, you should check if the link is actually safe and clicking it won’t lead to malware attack.

Step 1. Use online scanners to check the link

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There are many link scanners online that offer to test questionable links for free. You can test questionable links with free Symantec, Trend Micro, VirusTotal and many other tools. If they give the same information about harmful and potentially dangerous content, you should not ignore it.

If someone sent a link and you need to download content from it, you should ask them to use different share link or make sure that the content they sent is not infected. Maybe that person does not even know that her or his computer is infected!

Step 2. Turn off warnings about fraudulent websites on Safari

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If you think that Safari stops you from browsing the web freely by displaying security alerts, you can alter browser settings. Turning off Safari warnings about fraudulent websites can help to fix “Website with harmful software warning” error. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Navigate to Preferences.
    Open Safari Preferences
  3. Open Security tab.
    Open Safari settings
  4. Remove the tick from Warn when visiting a fraudulent website option.

    Turn of "Warn when visiting a fraudulent website" option

Once it’s done, access the website or click on a link again. However, if you noticed that your computer started acting oddly after downloading something from that domain, you should check the system with anti-malware software like Reimage or MacKeeper.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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