No beautiful gift: Tracking, Retargeting and ‘Malvertising’
Safe shopping without annoying ads
Cologne, 20 December 2019 – Profits from online shopping during the Christmas season have been rapidly rising for years. In 2018, German online shops recorded sales of 13,3 billion euros during this period, and the prognosis for 2019 is set for 14,7 billion euros.
Online shopping is evermore popular, but it is not only marked by advantages. Cybercriminals and personal data collectors are swarming in the pre-Christmas season. Users shopping online for gifts at this time become prime targets for tracking, retargeted ads, and malicious malvertising infections. Adblock Plus protects users from all of this and at the same time blocks unwanted advertisements.
On holidays, the chance of landing upon malicious and infectious ads is around 141 percent higher than on normal work days. Also, these infected ads do not exist solely on dubious sites, since ad spots even on ‘serious’ sites are usually served through external Adtech networks. Often users do not need to click on these ads for their computers to become infected with viruses. In the worst of cases, users can experience long-term damage to their devices or the loss of personal data.
Although less dangerous than malvertising, tracking and re-targeted advertisements can also be a nuisance. Many sites save shopper information like IP addresses, search queries and products viewed and use this information to create a profile of the user, which is then utilized for advertising purposes. Once retargeting sets in, users will see advertisements over and over for the same products. That happens even when the user moves to other sites, and even if the product has already been bought. There is also the danger that friends and family who surf on the same devices will see these advertisements and realize in advance what gifts they will receive, destroying the surprise.
In order to be protected from dangers online, more and more users are installing ad blockers. Around 30 percent of Germans already surf the web without annoying advertisements, and not just during the holiday season.
Picture: Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
eyeo’s mission is to put users in control of a fair, profitable web. eyeo is the developer of a suite of products that includes Flattr, Adblock Browser and Adblock Plus, an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Adblock Plus is used by over 100 million people around the world. The free browser add-on is available for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera for desktop users, eyeo also offers the free Adblock Browser app for mobile users on iOS and Android.