No matter what type of business you own, the safety of the company is critical. From locking the doors at night to encrypting passwords on every device, the more security measures you have, the safer your organization will be. Without security, you never know who will get their hands on valuable information that could put an end to your business.

The same can be said for cybersecurity. As the shift to online technology continues to grow, so does the risk of cyber threats from hackers and cybercriminals. Keeping your online profile, and anything connected to your business network, secured has never been more crucial.

One aspect of online security that continues to grow in popularity is ad blocking. Online ads can be an unpleasant mixture of annoying and dangerous. Some are harmful and simply get in the way of content on the internet. However, other online ads maybe filled with destructive malware waiting to infect your computer.

So, as you continue to improve your cyber security for your business’s online activity and network, consider implementing ad blocking technology. Let’s take a look at how ad blocking works and discover why it is essential.

Destructive online Ads

You wouldn’t think that when you click on an ad from your favorite trusted website that your computer system may quickly crumble. Unfortunately, that can be the case. Those who create online ads for malicious reasons have revamped the way they work. Cybercriminals will buy out ad spaces on legitimate websites (Yahoo, CBS News, and Weather.com are victims of this), and upload their virus-filled ad to the site. What you initially thought was a safe ad is actually malware.

These types of ads are known as malvertisement, the use of distributing malware through advertisement, and it has grown exponentially over the years. In fact, the use of malvertisement rose 132% in 2016 compared to 2015. Once you click on the ad, it infects your device with malware. But, you don’t even need to click the ad to get infected. Even if your cursor brushes over the ad, the virus can still attack your computer.

There is more to worry about than the damage these viruses can do to your device. Clicking on the wrong ad could allow hackers access to your device and the connected network. So, if your business is completely online or your employees work remotely, this could be detrimental to your company.

How to block online ads

VPN

Your most reliable method of blocking online ads is through the use of a VPN, a Virtual Private Network). When you connect your device to a network, your data travels to and from the network for you to load the internet. Once you install a VPN, it creates a tunnel that hides and encrypts your data. Your online activity is secured from hackers, cybercriminals, and anyone else that desires access to it.

Many VPNs have ad blocking technology built into them. But, it is the additional security features they offer that take it a step further. A VPN prevents any ads from tracking your activity while keeping your online activity safe.

Use browser extensions or change settings

Many of the major internet browsers have their own extension to block ads. Some are free, while others may have a minimal charge. Either way, they are all there to prevent pop ads and block other ads that may be harmful to your computer.

If you do not want to download additional software to your device, you can check the settings in your browser. Most major browsers will allow you to adjust the privacy and security features to fit your preferences. However, going this route will only achieve the bare minimum for blocking online ads.

Use antivirus software with ad blocking capabilities

Most likely, you already have antivirus software installed on your computers as part of your security plan. Antivirus software continually upgrades to offer customers advanced capabilities, including blocking online ads. Check to see if your antivirus has this capability and confirm that it is turned on.

Online ads are only part of the reason for increasing the online security for your business, but it is an important one. Since you worked hard to get your business to where it is, you wouldn’t want that to fall apart due to an online ad. So, make sure you have ad blocking technology installed on your devices to keep your online activity secure.

Sophie Oppong
Sophie is the Business Management Lead at Content Intelligence Media.