Are Online Ads Dangerous Or Are Those Fears Being Way Overblown?

When you build a new product, you do not have any idea how it is going to turn out. You do not whether it is going to be successful or a tremendous flop. You just have to release it to the public and wait to see what happens. And not only do you have to wait to see if it is successful or not, you also have to wait to see how it is going to turn out. This is what we had to learn when it came to the internet. And we are still learning.

When the internet was first created it was thought of as being a way to still be able to communicate with the outside world after a nuclear attack. It has of course grown to be much larger than that. And it is still growing so we still do not know where it is going to end up at and how it is going to look. But the internet is at a mature stage now where can get a pretty good idea on how things might turn out. We might not know the details but we have seen a culture grow around the internet that is probably not going to go away anytime soon.


One of the cultures that we have saw grow with the internet is the culture of free. And this culture has extended to both the legal and the illegal side of the law. We can get all sorts of free information from the web but we can also download illegal media files for free as well. People have gotten used to it and while there is a ton of commerce done on the internet every day, we are still going to see most stuff offered online for free.

So how do you subsidize free? Well the answer to that is that a lot of web sites place ads for the people who visit to see. That way they do not have to pay for the content that they are consuming and the person who creates the web site can still earn money. It is a great way to trade and most of the web uses that model. While for the most part the online ad model of the internet works, there is a dark side as well. Just like with everything else in life, people try to take advantage of others. And some people try to take advantage using the online ad business model.

How do they exploit the online ad business model?

Well there are several different tactics that black hat hackers will use to try and exploit this business model. The most obvious way is to use ads to lure the online consumer to fake web sites. When they get people to these web sites they will find that they are only there for one of two different purposes. They either want to try and slip a program through your browser and onto your computer. Or they want to try and have you fill out a fake form that will get private information from you. Either way they will try their best to be able to earn money off of you in an illegal way.

You really have to be careful when you are going to a website like this. You do not want to be caught in a web of deceit just because you decided to click on an ad.

Another way that online ads can hurt you is the way that some of them are presented to your computer. When you see an online ad for the most part it comes in two different formats, the text versions and the animated flash versions. The animated flash versions are the ads that will either have sound or a little cartoon character floating around. These ads can cause a lot of harm if they are not properly vetted. Flash can sometimes allow a third party entity to load dangerous executables on to a person’s computer. An executable is another name for a program that you run on a computer. These executables are more in the form of a virus rather than the normal safe programs that you usually run. And the worst part about an attack like this is that you do not even have to click on the ad for it to harm you. All it has to do is show up and your computer can become infected.

An attack like this rarely happens and for the most part online ads are very safe. But you must remember that while the ads are usually safe, they cannot be one hundred percent trusted. This is why you should have all the protection software that is installed on your computer running at all times.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] as you can see, not all ads are meant to be trusted on the internet. While almost 99% of them can be trusted at least as far as not infecting your computer with […]

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