Say you’re on Amazon looking for a toy for your dog. You decline to buy at the time, closing out your web browser. Then something sort of creepy happens: you start to see ads for that very same pet toy on other websites. You might even receive emails promoting it. This is targeted ads and once they begin to track you, they are relentless in their pursuit.
How Do Targeted Ads Work?
Why do cookies exist? As you might have guessed it, to benefit advertisers. Ad companies can use this treasure trove of data to better market to your needs based on your online behaviors. While this creates targeted ads that might appeal more to you since they’re based on your interests, it’s also disconcerting for many who don’t want to have their online activities logged.
Are There Dangers to Targeted Ads?
Because there’s much money in your personal data–from an advertising perspective, there are plenty of players wanting to cash in on this digital gold rush. As such, you’ll find some companies exercise “decent” practices in that they won’t pepper every website you visit with ads. Instead, they’ll exercise caution.
On the flip side, there are plenty of companies and even scammers who want to abuse this privilege. Along with flooding websites you visit with ads, some will use pop-ups to fish hook your attention. And this is where things can become a bit tricky.
Scammers did their homework and disguise malicious ads to mimic real advertising. If you click on one of their pop-ups or banner ads, it can infect your device with malware or even redirect you to a dummy website set up to mirror your bank’s, where any information you provide them goes on the black market.
So, how do I stop these ads? There are three easy ways to achieve this.
Delete Your Internet History
A good first step is to wipe your digital archive clean. Web browsers give you the option to clear your history which also clears your cookies, Google searches and more.
Install An Ad Blocker
Ad blockers are excellent in that they prevent advertisements to pop up when you visit a website. There are many options available based on the type of browser you are using.
Use Private Browsing
When you use a private browser, it disables cookies. This prevents advertisers from tracking your online activity. That said, some websites require cookies for their page or functions of their page to download correctly, so there could be a slight dip in performance when using private browsing.
Meanwhile, if you fall victim to malicious ads and have your data compromised in the process, know there are solutions available to recover your files. The team at SALVAGEDATA has the experience and resources for any job. Learn more about our professional recovery services or begin a case by contacting us today!