Are you blocking ads on the websites you visit? If not, you could be at risk.
If you’ve been online at all, you most likely have seen advertisements on websites you visit. They can be blatant at times, and sneaky at others. Ads can be for legitimate products, or a way marketers get you to see their content.
They could also be infecting your computer with malicious software. Or, even worse, showing things to your kids they shouldn’t be seeing.
Inappropriate Internet Ads
My wife recently sent me a picture of something our 12-year-old son saw on a website that we had prescreened and allowed him to visit.
That’s not what he went to that website to see!
This is an example of what’s called a Content Recommendation Network. Websites typically put these sections at the end of an article. It’s a way for them to generate income from the content they provide. Usually it’s content related to what’s already on the website, but as we can see from the example above, it doesn’t always work like it should.
Thankfully, we’ve talked with our son enough that he felt comfortable to go to my wife and show her the ad. But it demonstrates that even though we have Internet filters set up at our house, and parental controls in place on all devices, there are many ways inappropriate content can get in front of our kids.
Thankfully, the fix for this one is pretty easy.
Using AdBlock for Internet Safety
Using a small, free software program that installs to your web browser, you can block advertising on any website you visit. There are several different products available, but my favorite is called AdBlock.
AdBlock lets you surf the web without seeing popups or web ads. It eliminates most paid ads at the top of a Google search. It also blocks YouTube and Facebook ads, which can show movie or video game trailers that are inappropriate for kids, and hides banner and popup ads, which are increasingly targeting children.
I’ve also seen viruses and malware installed on computers from banner ads on websites. AdBlock can help you avoid costly virus removals and loss of data from malware attacks.
Installation is simple. Visit the AdBlock website. Click on the blue “Get AdBlock Now” button on the homepage. It detects the browser you are using and walks you through the installation.
One note: it is not available for Internet Explorer. If you’re on Windows, and you’re still using Internet Explorer, I would consider moving to Chrome or FireFox. Both are faster and more secure.
The Bottom Line
Using AdBlock has multiple benefits. It can keep our eyes safe from things we shouldn’t see, and it can protect our computers from viruses and malware. Go to their site and install it today!
Have you seen popup ads that were inappropriate? Have you warned your kids about this increasingly common threat? It’s only a matter of time before it happens. Talking with them ahead of time will make it easier for them to come to you when they see it.