The term, “ad-blocker,” summarizes various programs that block Internet advertising, or more precisely, to ensure that advertising images, banners, videos or pop-ups are not displayed. The term, "ad-blocker," is composed of "ad" (for "advertisement") and "block," to obstruct.
What does the term “ad-blocker” mean in detail?
Advertising on the Internet is perceived as disturbing for a variety of reasons: Large-format advertising banners interrupt the reading flow. The sound of unexpectedly playing videos startles. Pop-ups block almost the entire screen.
Online advertising can also cause web pages to load slower and undesirably transfer data. It can even transmit malware. Such ads are also referred to as "malvertising" (meaning: "advertising with bad intentions"). Since ad-blockers block annoying or even harmful advertising, they have now become widely accepted.
For companies whose revenue streams include Internet advertising, ad-blockers are a problem. For example, for most media offerings, they often permit viewing only with the ad-blocker disabled.
Where are ad-blockers of benefit to me in everyday work?
Online advertising is a common occurrence in your daily work. Installing an ad-blocker reduces this frequency. Since you can also disable your ad-blocker, you can test the effect on any website by comparing.
What can I do to improve my safety?
If you are surfing without an ad-blocker or disable it on selected pages: if possible, do not click on the advertisement with it off. If you see something there that interests you, directly visit the respective company’s website. This takes a bit more effort, but protects against malware. Ads that transmit malicious software can also be found on legitimate websites. Why don’t the owners of the websites prevent this? Because an in-depth review of the content and features of all online ads would take a long time and lead to extremely high ad rates.
In any case, avoid ads that have buttons like "Ok" or "Download". If you are prompted for updates after clicking on an ad (eg your Flash player), never load them via the corresponding dialog. Instead, go to the manufacturer's website (in this case Adobe) and download the update from there. You'll probably discover that you don’t need an update. Then you know that the message was a suggestion to convince you to download possibly malicious software.
Since there are also online ads that can cause harm to your site without even doing anything, you should also:
- disable Java in your browser
- Keep your virus protection, your browser and all programs connected to it (extensions, plugins, etc.) up to date