By Arielle Mullen

According to RiskIQ, one particular type of malware deployment spiked 260% in the first quarter of 2015. This type of malware is called "malvertising," and uses specially formed online ads to trick people and/or exploit security vulnerabilities in order to covertly deploy malware to your computer. With incidents of malvertising intrusions becoming common, it's imperative to take steps to protect your system against these attacks. There are several ways this type of malware can affect your computer. 

  •      Redirects. With this method, you’d click on an ad, which oftentimes relays the message that your computer is already infected and needs software downloaded in order to “save” it. If you ever see this: do not click!
  •      Drive-by download. This type, used by a growing number of campaigns, downloads the virus when simply visiting an infected website. Ads on a site can contain links embedded in lines of code which force the computer to download software from malicious sites, without the person ever realizing it’s happening in the background. 

In order to better protect your system against malvertising, we recommend taking the following steps:

1. Enable click-to-play plugins, which require you to click on videos in order to start them. 

2. Disable plugins you don't use frequently, and keep the plugins you have updated. 

3. Keep your browser updated

4. Never browse the internet while logged in with an account that has administrative permissions if you can avoid it. New software generally requires an admin password to download. 

5. Disable Flash and Java, as these are usually the most susceptible to attacks. 

6. Block ads with a plugin like AdBlock Plus.

7. Become a ClearIT Partner, which includes more sophisticated protections against malvertising including strong Antivirus tools and a Web Security Content Filtering solution

Taking these basic steps will significantly decrease your chances of being affected by malware.  

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