You know an issue is serious when the FBI gets involved.
This time the issue is cybercriminals using online ads to impersonate brands and direct users to malicious sites that host ransomware and malware for stealing login credentials and money.
In late December 2022, the FBI released a public service announcement advising people to install an ad blocker to guard against malicious ads.
MySudo has had ad and tracker blockers by default for years, so we completely agree with the FBI’s advice.
The FBI says that cybercriminals are buying ads to impersonate legitimate brands and running them at the top of search results.
With “minimum distinction” between the fake ads and the real search results—the URLs and web sites linked to the ads are nearly identical to the legitimate ones—criminals trick victims into installing “malware disguised as genuine apps” which steal passwords and deploy file-encrypting ransomware.
Cybercriminals commonly impersonate cryptocurrency exchanges, the FBI warns.
“While search engine advertisements are not malicious in nature, it is important to practice caution when accessing a web page through an advertised link,” the FBI says.
The FBI offers 3 security tips:
- Don’t click on an ad until you’ve checked the URL. Bogus ones will look nearly identical to legitimate ones but contain typos or misplaced letters.
- Instead of using a search engine to find a business, type its URL directly into your browser address bar to find the business directly.
- Install an ad blocker.
What does an ad blocker do?
Ad blockers are browser extensions, plugins or apps that disable ads on web pages. They block communications to ad servers and then hide the elements of the web page that display ad content.
MySudo has ad and tracker blockers by default in its private browsers.
While an ad blocker stops ads from running, a tracker blocker stops tracking scripts from running in the background on the sites you visit and collecting information about your browsing history.
They are both useful tools in your privacy toolkit.
Remember, MySudo includes both an ad and a tracker blocker by default in its private browser. When you use MySudo, you also get:
- private alternative phone numbers
- private alternative email address
- virtual cards (iOS and USA only for now)
- all packaged within up to 9 Sudo digital identities.
Download MySudo today.
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