The sixth instalment in our Protect your Privacy series, guides that help you protect your privacy and personal data, we’ll be looking at Adware, how Ad Blockers work and how they can help protect your privacy. ✋🛑
What is Adware?
Adware is any software that is designed to display advertisements. You’ve seen it before.
The point of adware is generally to generate revenue for its developer. You are experiencing adware anytime you visit a website with an ad banner or are forced to watch a video to use a free phone app.
You know those trainers you looked at, then you know those annoying ads of that same trainer when going into other websites. That’s adware doing its thing. Might not be that annoying though, right? But here’s why adware can be both dangerous and annoying…
Advertisers want to make as much money as possible, and gathering your personal data about you helps them do that. They have a big incentive to invade your privacy as much as possible so that they can target you with specific ads.
Adware doesn’t always stay where it’s supposed to. It can track you from website to website, gathering data about your browsing habits, interests, and location.
It can also be used to spread malware (just like an infectious disease!). Basically malicious adware can infect your browser or device when you click on an ad, but the scariest part is that some kinds of adware can infect you even without a click 😱
Ad Blockers Overview
Ad blockers can protect your privacy and prevent your browser or device from getting infected with malware. You also might experience faster loading times, better battery life, and a smoother browsing experience after installing an ad blocker.
Since there are so many kinds of advanced adware out there, it’s important to choose an ad blocker that will fully protect you. There are a number of different types of ad blockers. Here are some of your choices:
- Virtual Peer Network (VPN), with dedicated ad blockers: Some VPN services come with built-in apps that protect you from adware. Since VPNs can protect you from multiple kinds of tracking, adware will have a really hard time collecting data about you. Another benefit of going with a VPN is that many services make it easy to protect multiple devices with a single subscription. Here’s a list of the best VPNs of 2019 🏆
- Browsers: Many web browsers come with built-in ad blocking software, so you can avoid adware without any effort. Some are pretty effective, but their features are usually limited compared with a third-party blocker. You’ve got to be careful although some browsers sometimes offer these, in the likes of Google you may not want to trust them ⚠️
- Extensions: You can protect your browser from adware by choosing one of many third-party browser extensions. There are both free and paid applications out there that work with most web browsers. They usually let you customise your experience more than built-in browser ad blockers 🌐
- Device or Router: A dedicated ad blocking router or a virtual router can be set up with a DNS filter that will automatically block requests from servers that are known to provide adware or tracking services 💻
If in doubt. You can always combine multiple types of ad blockers to get the best possible protection.
We hope you found this useful, check out our other guides for other ways to protect your privacy.