It’s been in the works for nearly a year and Google’s great ad-pocalypse is now upon us. On Thursday, the Chrome browser will begin to automatically filter out ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. Your browsing experience is about to change a little bit. Here’s what you need to know.
In April of last year, the news first broke that Google planned to integrate some form of ad-blocking into its browser that would be on by default. Since then we’ve seen a gradual rollout of the feature, beginning with the ability to mute autoplay videos with sound on the sites of your choosing. Now, Google going all-in with a set of criteria for what ads will be kosher in Chrome.
Along with its fellow ad giant Facebook, Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that has performed research on what forms of web advertising annoys people the most. It’s created a list of the 12 types of web experiences that should ideally be avoided by advertisers. Now Google is going to enforce that list with Chrome, which is used by over half of all people accessing the web with a browser.
Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know
There’s a lot of misinformation about security online. The truth is that by taking a few simple steps you can make yourself much safer. Here are the basic, super easy ways to do it:
Use a unique Password, but don’t worry too much about complexity
Conventional wisdom says that if you use a long password with crazy letters, numbers, and symbols, your account is safe. The fact is, a password like “annexrubykneadtone” is just as secure as “J+e}F*b>J*S;36fSvbSLX)R}” as long as it’s unique. When a hacker is trying to break into your account, the first thing they’ll probably do is search through previous database dumps for your email address. If you’re using the same password across multiple services, a hacker who finds it can access many of your accounts.
Use two-factor authentication whenever possible
Two-factor authentication has made the internet much more secure. Generally, two-factor authentication requires that you enter a code generated by an app on your phone or sent to you via text message, in addition to your account password. It ensures that even if a hacker has your password, they can’t get into your account. You should use two-factor authentication on everything you can, from your bank account to your social media accounts to your email. Sure, it can sometimes be a pain in the ass, but it is so worth it.
Use an ad blocker
Ads are known to spread malware. For that reason alone, you should block all of them. Seriously! I say this as someone whose rent is, in part, paid by ad revenue. With ads, there is no upside when it comes to your security online.
Three Easy Tricks to Improve Your Online Security
As consumers turn to ad blockers to avoid advertising on their mobile and computer screens, marketers and content providers who depend on pitches to pay the bills are searching frantically for ways to counter the pesky programs. BlockIQ offers them one.
BlockIQ, owned by AdSupply, which recently merged with Adaptive Medias, has launched BlockBypass. The software can detect users of the popular ad blocker AdBlock and perform a number of countermeasures, including circumventing the ad blocker.
Websites can configure BlockBypass as aggressively as they wish. They can just educate a visitor about the harm of ad blockers to websites that depend on advertising to stay alive. They can refuse to serve content to a visitor until an ad blocker is disabled for the website. They also can choose a nuclear option and bypass the ad blocker altogether.
“The incredible growth of ad blocking has reached the tipping point where sites will no longer be able to operate,” BlockIQ CEO Justin Bunnell said.
In the last 12 months alone, use of ad blockers has risen 41 percent globally, bringing the number of worldwide users to 198 million and costing publishers US$22 billion, according to PageFair’s 2015 global ad-blocking report.
“If ad blocking continues unchecked, it will eliminate the advertising revenue websites need to survive,” Bunnell noted. “It is like expecting a movie theater to stay in business when 30 percent of their audience does not pay for a ticket.”
BlockIQ Escalates War on Ad Blockers