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How to avoid downloading an adware trojan instead of an ad blocker
Tuesday, August 15, 2023Ads are everywhere on the Internet: on every website and in every application that we use. They can be annoying and intrusive, distracting our attention from what we are searching for or doing online. This is one of the main reasons why users take advantage of ad blockers.
An ad blocker is a software program or a browser extension that blocks the display of ads on webpages. It analyses the code and the content of webpages to be downloaded, identifies elements related to advertising, and prevents them from appearing on the screen.
The advantages of using ad blockers are obvious. By removing annoying and obtrusive ads from webpages, they help users not to be distracted from their tasks or from useful content.
On the other hand, using ad blockers is associated with the risks of websites that rely on advertising as a source of income. In addition, users need to be careful when choosing and installing an ad blocker so as not to download an adware trojan.
An adware trojan is a malicious program that penetrates a computer or mobile device and starts displaying annoying or even dangerous ads. Such a trojan can redirect search queries to advertising websites and collect information about users (for example, information about what sites they visit) without their consent, as well as slow down a device and create security issues.
Unfortunately, there are cases of users accidentally installing malicious software on their devices when they were intending to download an ad blocker. This happens when attackers create fake versions of popular ad blockers and distribute them via unreliable sources, such as forums, torrent-tracker sites, or file-hosting services.5 signs that you have installed an adware trojan
- Unwanted ads appear constantly. You continually encounter pop-ups, banners, redirects, etc.
- Unknown applications or extensions. New apps that you haven't installed keep cropping up on your device, or you notice extensions in your web browser that were never there before.
- Interruptions in your device’s operation. Adware trojans can heavily strain the CPU and device memory, which can lead to slowdowns or interruptions.
- Increased use of Internet traffic. You notice an unexplainable increase in traffic usage, especially during inactivity or application background mode.
- The device behaves strangely. You notice strange or suspicious changes in your device’s operation, such as automatic reboots, unusual errors, settings changes, etc.
The Anti-virus Times recommends
- Do not risk downloading ad blockers from untrusted sources. The most reliable sources are developer sites and browser plug-in libraries, but they are also subject to the "trust but verify" rule.
- Use anti-virus software that can detect and prevent the installation of malware.
- Read the reviews and ratings of ad blockers carefully before installing them. Positive feedback and the developer's good reputation are an indicator of software reliability.
- If you suspect that an adware trojan has gained a foothold in your device, check it with an anti-virus or contact a computer security specialist for help.
In general, in order not to download malicious software instead of an ad blocker, we recommend that you follow general security rules, be careful, and never trust dubious and unreliable download sources. Caution is a key factor in online safety.