Watch Out! Malvertising is here … Follow the Tips to Stay Safe from the Scariest PC Security Threat!
The increased usage of Internet in our lives has actually opened the doors for cybercriminals to carry out their nefarious acts through various unpredictable means. The latest means of exploiting computer security is Malvertising. It is new on the block and has been termed as a critical threat – which is a form of malicious software, but different from that plain old malware.
What is Malvertising?
As you browse through the websites, you come across several online ads, which are definitely annoying as they get in the way of your page or videos viewing. Online ads are definitely frustrating, but one would have never imagined that they can be even much more than mere nuisances. The online criminals are smart enough to make the optimum use of our dependency on the Internet and thus, started spreading computer viruses and other malware via advertisements – which is known as ‘Malvertising’ in the security world.
How Malvertising is different from Malware?
To keep malware infections at bay, we usually keep a check at disreputable websites, or at the websites that have had page code altered by hackers. But, in case of Malvertising, which is a term used by online criminals to plot infectious malware behind the online ads, it does not require complicit administrators or breaking into servers. Rather, it exploits mode of online advertising industry to place malicious ads on any website – even the most trustworthy ones. The scariest part about Malvertising is – that it’s hidden behind the scenes, which is bit hard to detect.
Malvertising is not only effective, but also very easy to do and get away with. In fact, the advertising companies are clueless about who is responsible for the malicious ads pushed through their networks.
As you visit a website, your personal information is sent to an ad exchange by the website. Then as per your browsing behavior, ad networks start bidding to put their ads in your web browser, and then the highest bidder wins. All this is a prompt action, which does not include any direct input from the website’s administrators. This is the loophole for which the online criminals wait for and thus, also gain success by developing threats like Malvertising.
The worst – in this case, the online criminals are not behind your personal information. They actually want full control of your computer – which is later used to go online and click on other, pay-by-the-click ads to artificially boost those numbers. In simple words, it is a money making game plotted by online criminals.
How can you protect yourself from Malvertising?
No matter how tough or critical the computer security threat is, but still if certain steps are followed sincerely, it is assumed that these threats can be avoided. Here’s how you can protect yourself from Malvertising:
- Keep your Web browsers and browser plugins (such as Java, Adobe Flash), as well as operating systems, are up-to-date.
- Go for ‘Click-to-run’ browser settings, which can help in preventing Flash ads from playing automatically.
- Install a solid antivirus program. The updated security software will help you in recognizing exploit kits and stop malware from installing and can even remove if any malware has succeeded in getting into your PC.
- Set your respective browsers to flag malicious content on a Web Page. For instance, Google Chrome if set can help you detect phishing and malware. To do so, click Show Advanced Settings, open the Privacy section option and check the box given in front of ‘Enable phishing and malware protection’.
- Go on to create multiple user accounts on your computer with different privileges and then, don’t forget to use your accounts as per the assigned privileges.
When you know about the threat and also the ways in which you can protect yourself from getting infected, it becomes really easier to get away with these threats. So, never miss a chance to know about any particular threat revolving around your Web Pages. Your awareness about the threats popping up on the Internet shall be your best security. Having knowledge about computer security threats will let you find ways to get away with it. So go on exploring to keep your PC as well as yourself safe from such uninvited threats.