Protecting Yourself from Malware Adverts: A Guide

New Zealand Computing Solutions
2 min readFeb 15, 2023

The internet is a powerful tool providing endless information and opportunities. However, with its vastness comes the risk of cyber threats, such as malware adverts. Cybercriminals have found ways to purchase advertisements that appear in internet search results, using domain names similar to businesses or services. These malicious ads often lead to web pages that look identical to the real thing, tricking users into downloading malware or entering sensitive information.

Here’s an example of a malicious adverts:

Photos from Will Dormann

“Google for KMPlayer and you get an Ad for a malware-serving lookalike site (oddly for VLC). If you’re on x86/x86_64 Windows, you’ll get this malware:“, Will Dormann says.

Protecting yourself from these malicious adverts and following some basic safety measures is essential. Here are some tips provided by the FBI to help you stay safe online:

For Individuals:

  • Check the URL before clicking on an advertisement. Make sure the site is authentic by verifying the domain name. Be vigilant when a malicious domain name may have typos or a misplaced letter.
  • Type the business’s URL directly into your internet browser’s address bar. Do not click on search results for a company or financial institution.
  • Use an ad-blocking extension. Most internet browsers allow you to add extensions, including those that block advertisements.

For Businesses:

  • Use domain protection services to prevent domain spoofing. This will notify you when similar domains are registered, allowing you to take action to protect your brand.
  • Educate users about search results, avoid clicking Adverts, and the importance of verifying destination URLs. Make sure they know how to identify a genuine website from a fake one.
  • Educate users about where to find legitimate downloads for programs the business provides. You Managed Service Provider (MSP) should be managing your software installations. This will prevent them from downloading malware and help keep their devices safe. In conclusion, malware adverts are a real threat to internet users.

Still, by following these simple tips, you can protect yourself and your business from falling victim to these cyber criminals. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and happy browsing!



New Zealand Computing Solutions

Expert Small to Medium Business Computer Consulting, IT Outsourcing, Software Development and Managed IT Services.