Friday, January 20, 2017

Malvertising and Ad-Blockers

As digital marketing has become a more important part of a brand's marketing strategies, the sheer size of the effort often begs for outsourcing and automation. This can lead to not knowing exactly where one's ads show up, how safe the ads are, or how customers are seeing your brand delivered.

Malware exploits have commonly infiltrated ad networks at even the most reputable of sites, such as NYTimes and through networks such as Google's AdWords. Ad networks have introduced tools to prevent such events from occurring, but as attackers move and change tactics, some still find success. How does this change consumer behavior and how they interact with online advertising? I have begun training employees on never clicking an online ad for these very concerns. Later we blocked all online ads from being delivered at the corporate firewall. Meanwhile, ad blockers have become ever more popular among the browsing public.

I am curious how this has already changed, and will continue to change the landscape. As my day-to-day landscape has been very protected from online ads, I now see extremely targeted ads on mobile in Instagram and Facebook. They have become very well tailored, from my perspective, and in their ecosystem seem to lack the same vulnerabilities that have cropped up on the web. For now.

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