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Malicious Ads Checklist

Malicious Ads Checklist

by EditorApril 27, 2018

Online ads can be annoying, but they are more than just an irritation. Such advertising often contains damaging software that can place the unwary at risk.

Avoiding the frustration of such intrusive advertising is becoming a real priority. According to Pagefair, which oversees advertising methods online, the application of ad-blocking extensions increased by 30% worldwide in 2016. Users are choosing white space over web ads, thanks to software. Google Chrome browser will soon be armed with a new feature to ensure that ads failing to meet certain standards will be blocked automatically.

This announcement is proving to be controversial in some markets but is set to include typical pop-up ads, together with autoplay video ads. Complete privacy online will probably never be realistic, without avoiding an online life completely. However, new technology is at least focusing on improving current practices to a large extent.


Ad blocker installation: It is now possible to use a browser plugin that prevents online ads from recognizing who you are and tracking you – for example, uBlock Origin. Furthermore, the online world is now moving against cookies once more. Websites now have these in place so that visitors can enjoy ease-of-use, based on information provided by previous visits, but cybersecurity professionals are now advising on using a disabling tool also.

The international non-profit organization Electronic Frontier Foundation, for example, recommends Privacy Badger as a robust option for internet users concerned with safeguarding their digital rights.

Use of temporary credit cards: One of the ways to protect yourself, is to utilize a temporary credit card, especially if you make multiple purchases online. There is also more versatility now with banks and third-party companies, such as “Privacy”, who have set up virtual online cards based on swift expiration windows. These can be put in place thanks to a link with your credit card, although with unique numbers, security codes and expiration dates, together with virtual limits based on your own preferences.


Keep secret your location: New advertising techniques and tactics are now able to reach web users with information based on their homes and workplaces. This problem can be addressed, however, by checking out the privacy settings on the social media sites you use regularly, especially the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These should be turned off, as should those in your smart devices themselves.

If you’re not getting any benefit from them, don’t be afraid to turn off GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth either. Additionally, your phone settings will allow you to select which apps allow for location settings, meaning those that don’t require the feature can have the capability disabled.

Go incognito: Using this feature restricts the data that advertisers are capable of gathering on you, removing your browsing history from their knowledge banks. Launch the feature on Apple Safari via File > New Private Window, or on Google Chrome use File > New Incognito Window.

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