By Linda Lindquist


I install an advertisement blocker as part of the security protection products for your computers. I recommend either AdGuard or Malwarebytes Browser Guard. You may wonder why... Ad Blockers speed up webpages by not displaying advertisements and block malicious ads.


How Advertising works on webpages:

These days, most websites have space on their webpages to display advertisements. The owner of the website receives a small fee for each advertising space, and even more if you click on the ad. The ad spaces are filled by 3rd party services know as ad servers, who take the ad copy and money from advertisers and place their ads on website ad spaces, depending on how much money the advertiser paid to the ad server.


How Scammers use advertising spaces:

Ad servers appear not to check ad copy for threats or scams. Scammers take advantage of this fact by creating malicious ads and sending them with lots of money to ad servers, guaranteeing that their malicious ads are placed on many webpages. They infect your computer, even if you do bot click on the ad!


Most malvertisements have the following characteristics:

  1. Locks your computer, with or without sound effects (beeps, sirens, talking)
  2. Reports a severe problem (Zeus virus, expired windows license, etc.)
  3. Builds trust by appearing to be from Microsoft (windows tech support is ready to help you)
  4. Scares you (you will lose your files if you turn off your computer)
  5. Invites you to take action (call 8xx-xxx-xxxx immediately for help)


What happens if you call the scammer?

  1. They talk their way into your computer (press windows key + R + some code)
  2. They charge for their support (negotiating down from $1199 to $599 to $299)
  3. They ask for money (your credit card or check account routing and account number)
  4. They put malware and back door on your computer (so they can steal your files and identity)


What to do if you see malvertisements:

  2. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard, open TASK MANAGER, select your browser line on the PROCESSES tab, click the END TASK button (this unlocks the computer and closes the malvertisement)
  3. Do not recover webpages when you open the browser again.


Call me to install or renew an ad blocker on your computer to prevent malvertisements from scaring you to do the scammers bidding.