Are you all blocked up?
Updated: Sep 9
With the digital world being our main source of information, there is nothing more irritating than trying to keep up to date with the latest news and developments just to be met with pop-ups after pop-ups advertising something you had a quick look over last week.
For example, you are reading an article on the latest stats on COVID-19 when suddenly you get an ad from the garden centre you were shopping in last week. Or, you are doing your ritualistic daily quiz when suddenly that new car you have been considering comes speeding onto your screen.
Realistically with the way we consume information these days, it’s only fitting that advertisers have adapted to these changes as well.
Not only have advertisers changed the way they inject their product into your feeds but without the proper precautions in place, malicious attackers have developed adware that can equally inject and disguise themselves in a similar fashion.
This means the longer you go unprotected, the more potential harm you could inadvertently be causing yourself and your personal or business data.
Having an adblocker has quickly become a necessity for both personal use and the professional environment. But what does it actually prevent? What’s wrong with the slight inconvenience of a tiny ad in the corner of a page that you can close immediately?
Firstly, having a blocking service makes your browser safer.
That tiny little insignificant ad could actually be a person trying to access your data or do harm to your computer. Advertisers are not the only ones who have adapted to the change, as attackers can just as easily buy up the ad space and embed it with vicious malvertising software.
It is easier to avoid any risk of a potential attack by blocking advertising altogether.
Secondly, they stop ad servers from tracking you.
In reality, ad servers do much more than just deliver advertisements to your browser. It is not uncommon for many ad servers to keep an eye on what you do online and gather all sorts of personal information about you and your habits. These habits can then be sold to third parties, or be used again in retargeted advertising. Adblockers claim they can stop this from happening.
Finally, it makes pages’ load faster and can declutter your browsing experience.
When an ad blocker stops all the images, text and analytical code that comes with the package deal of an online ad, your browser is able to concentrate on loading genuine content from the site you were wanting to visit.
As a result of this, you get cleaner websites, no annoying pop-ups, and more importantly; no unexpected dialogue accompanied by unwelcome sound effects and an overproduced backing track.
All of this gets replaced by a pleasant user experience without any distracting elements.
However, despite being somewhat crucial in everyday dealings and the vast amount of ad blockers available on this wonderful thing called the internet, there can be a dark side to ad blockers.
They can make important features and content disappear.
Because of some of the precautions ad blockers take, people can have their user experience wrecked in a range of websites. Sites that use shopping carts, Customer Support apps such as chatbots, and even flight bookings can become unusable and extremely hindering to the user.
Some adblockers may even be playing devil’s advocate and at the cost of preventing advertisers storing and selling your data to third parties, they do it themselves.
So how can you be sure that an ad blocker is actually worth it? Or actually doing what it’s supposed too?
Well, the answer is simple.
You can always cut the head off at the root.
The difficulty with most ad blockers is that even though they block third party ads it can be a performance to try and have the ad blocker working on an array of browsers and devices.
This is certainly the case for businesses as they have to ensure that every employee's device has the right tools equipped to prevent harmful data from getting through and potentially affecting their business.
Even with most ad blockers, there is still a chance that not everything gets caught.
However, installing a network-wide solution can take a lot of the hard work away from ad blocking, to the extent that certain sites can be completely denied access no matter the browser, device and even IP.
ACS has developed one such programme that has proven to be extremely fundamental in cutting the head off at the root. Servicing hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and schools around the country and otherwise.
With our AdJudicator we have been able to block over 80 thousand domains from accessing precious personal and business data by simply disallowing them access within a couple of clicks, and this number continues to grow.
If you are wanting to learn more about the harms of not utilising an ad blocker or want to trial AdJudicator, contact us.