Malvertising: What is it? & How to prevent it?

The ads that you often see while online happening to be one of the sources of these cyberattacks. These ads could have malicious codes built-in them by online predators. If you tap on any of these ads, you have opened the gate for being a victim of cybercrime attacks. In this blog, we will explain what is malvertising and how you can prevent it.

We have also gathered some methods to keep your account secured from these unfortunate attacks. So, to get a better understanding and learning, keep reading this blog.

How does malvertising work?

An online predator’s purpose is to infect your device with malicious codes, and that is done through ads. You don’t necessarily have to click on an add to get your device infected. It can also be affected just by viewing the ad. It depends upon the type of malicious code the cybercriminal has used. Based upon it are the two types through which malvertising works:

  1. Pre-click 
  2. Post-click 

Pre-click malvertising

This type of malvertising occurs when an unknown and a strange link opens that you have not even clicked on; these sites have hidden malicious codes. After opening, a malicious file is automatically downloaded to your system.

Pre-click malvertising has done more harm because they could also be present on the sites where you least expect them to be. Here we are talking about some very trustee websites.

Post-click malvertising

This type of malvertising requires you to click on the link, which has malicious code hidden in it. After you click, a website opens, and a malicious file is downloaded to your system, and your system is infected.

This malvertising is less harmful because you first have to click on the link to that site, but it is equally dangerous for the system after you have clicked.

Most famous malvertising examples globally

Malvertising had also happened through some trustees and famous websites. Following are some of those examples:

Yahoo case

The very first example is from 2015; there was a malware attack on Yahoo. The cybercriminals attached the ad with malicious codes to the website to infect the devices of its users.

Soon after it came to Yahoo’s notice, the malicious codes were got rid off.

Spotify case

In 2016, a similar malvertising case was reported on Spotify. Ads linked to the malicious codes started showing up, and some people reported the malware download attempts on their devices.

Spotify resolved the issue as soon as the cyberattack was notified.

The New York Times and BBC

The New York Times and BBC also became a victim of these attacks in 2016.

The malware code, which was linked to both websites, resulted in downloading a crypto lock software, making the users pay to unlock it. However, the websites were successfully recovered in a day.

How to Prevent Malvertising

The above-given examples of trustee websites like The New York Times and Spotify are proof that there is nothing like a safe space on the internet. You have to make your own safe space because the cybercriminals spare no one.

Use and update your security software

To prevent cyberattacks, you need to install good quality security software in your system. If the protection software is installed already, you have to make sure that it is being updated regularly.

There are also several scams available in the name of cybersecurity applications. Before installing the app, confirm its authenticity. Otherwise, you could be at risk of losing your privacy to these online predators.

Consider using ad blockers

Ad blockers are a great tool to avoid getting involved in this malvertising ad. Ad blockers block any ad that pops up while being online, which helps you safely browse the internet.

Using just an ad blocker cannot provide you complete cybersecurity but, using it alongside protection software can keep your system protected to a great degree.

Update your browser and uninstall its plugins

Updating your browser and software is extremely important. If you are not keeping up with the updates, then there is a high risk that your information can be stolen easily. Always make sure that you have installed all the latest updates.


It is always better to take preventive measures instead of waiting for the cybercriminal to steal your confidential information. Keep your cybersecurity system in-check beforehand; because once your device is infected with malicious codes, it gets harder to deal with later.

The second wave of the Coronavirus is also around the corner, and all the online accounts and users will again be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, you must take all these precautions before it happens.

Check our previous blog about How to stay safe while playing online?

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