Malvertising: How does it affect you?

As soon as you connect to the internet and start browsing, hundreds and thousands of ads are bombarded towards you. No matter which website you visit, it seems everyone wants to fill your brain with their ads. While some of these ads are purely for marketing purposes, others are not. Quite a lot of these ads are designed to redirect you to websites that are injected with malware. These ads are known as malvertising. Once you land on any of these pages, your device will be affected and you may suffer a huge data breach and financial losses.

What exactly is malvertising?

Malvertising is a portmanteau of malicious and advertising. Cyber-criminals and hackers use it to invade your privacy, hack your devices and steal data from it. While there can be different forms of attack, using advertising has been an easy way to grab your attention and make you click on suspicious links. There can be several types of it. A hacker can duplicate a famous website or use a quite visited but unprotected website to inject malicious script in it.

The myth

Many people are of the mind that they are in danger after clicking on the malicious link, but that’s not true. There are some malware types that have the ability to bypass adblockers and other security tools and penetrate into your devices if you are on the same landing pages like them. There are other forms also where a hacker forces you to connect to their server by triggering auto-redirect.

What are the dangers?

As soon as you click on the link or are redirected to the fake and malicious landing page, chances are that the malware will be installed into your device, at least some of it. After that, the basic malware opens the gateway for an advanced form of malware. Which can then be used to completely hack your device, steal your data, or corrupt it unless you are ready to pay for it.

How do you prevent malware?

  • Using an ad-blocker can minimize the risk to a great extent. While there are some malware links that can bypass even the most sophisticated adblockers, you’ll still have a lot of protection by using a good enough adblocker.
  • Use an authentic antivirus and keep it updated. 
  • Always run system diagnostics and scans after a few days to see if there is something wrong within the devices.
  • Turn off auto-play on your browsers.
  • Use an authentic VPN or a powerful browser like Tor or firefox.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links.
  • Never share your personal information on websites unless it is really necessary.