Ad Blockers Should Be Employees’ Best Friends—Here’s Why

Publication date: May 02, 2023

Last Published: May 02, 2023

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Read Time : 6 minutes

It’s no secret that the web has become polluted with ads—just about every major website could be picked as an example. But when it comes to the workplace, ads can be more than just an annoyance; they can be a serious security risk. Learn more about how ad blockers can make a big difference in your web security.

Even the FBI Recommends the Use of Ad Blockers

According to ad tech firm Blockthrough, about 40 percent of US adults use an ad blocker, and both desktop and mobile ad blocking is on the rise. Despite the already substantial adoption of ad blockers, the FBI has also started recommending their use, further emphasizing their importance in today’s digital landscape.

According to its public service announcement, cybercriminals have been increasingly exploiting search engine ad services to impersonate legitimate brands and lead users to malicious sites. These sites can then host ransomware and steal login credentials, as well as other financial information.

This attack exploits the fact that most users click on the first relevant search result in Google or some other search engine without checking if the link really leads to the intended website.

What’s more, the malicious sites where users end up are often designed to look identical to the impersonated businesses’ official pages.

But malvertising isn’t limited to search engine results pages (SERPs); it can also appear directly on popular websites. In 2016, for example, several major websites, including,, and, fell victim to ransomware “malvertising” campaigns. In 2018, YouTube ads were used to hijack viewers’ CPUs to perform Bitcoin mining. This shows that even well-established platforms are not immune to the risks of malicious ads.


6 Critical Cybersecurity Policies Every Organization Must Have

Malicious Ads Are Just the Tip of The Iceberg

While malicious ads are a serious cybersecurity threat, there are other good reasons to block them:

  • Enhanced privacy: The best ad blocker software solutions stop advertisers from tracking what web users do online (which websites they visit, how much time they spend on them, and so on).
  • Reduced data usage: By blocking ads and their associated elements, ad blockers can decrease the amount of data used while browsing, which can be particularly beneficial for users with limited data plans.
  • Longer battery life: The use of ad blockers can contribute to extended battery life because some ads, especially those that play video or contain various interactive elements, can consume a significant amount of power when loaded.
  • Increased performance: Some ads can consume a significant amount of CPU resources. Malicious ads designed to secretly mine cryptocurrencies are the worst offenders since they can turn even a powerful computer into a sloth.
  • Minimized distractions: Ad-free browsing allows for a more focused online experience, enabling users to concentrate better on the content they’re interested in without being distracted by intrusive or irrelevant ads.

The good news is that there are many safe and reliable ad blockers that can serve as employees’ personal digital bodyguards while they surf the web:

1. uBlock Origin (Free and open source)

Supported web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and more

As a wide-spectrum content blocker, uBlock Origin effectively blocks ads, trackers, coin miners, popups, malware sites, and more by default, using a variety of comprehensive filter lists. Users can easily customize these filter lists to suit their preferences, giving them full control over what gets blocked. Despite its extensive capabilities, uBlock Origin is light on memory and CPU resources.

2. Adblock Plus (Free and open source)

Supported web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and more

Adblock Plus is a popular and free open-source ad blocker that enhances the browsing experience of its users by eliminating irritating ads and offering additional protection against tracking and malware. The ad blocker allows some “acceptable ads” by default, the option to disable Acceptable Ads is available for those who prefer an entirely ad-free browsing experience.

3. AdGuard (Freemium and proprietary)

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS

AdGuard is available both as a desktop application and a browser extension, providing users with a comprehensive ad-blocking solution across multiple devices and platforms. The free version of AdGuard offers basic ad-blocking features, while the Premium version expands on this with advanced filtering options, custom filtering lists, HTTPS filtering in apps, and built-in malware protection.

Additional Tips to Improve Your Online Security Beyond Ad Blockers

Apart from using ad blockers, there are several other measures that individuals and businesses can take to improve their online security. Here are some useful tips to keep you and your organization safe:

For Individuals

  • Check URLs: Before clicking on an advertisement, inspect the URL to ensure the site is authentic. Malicious domain names may look similar to the intended URL but may contain typos or misplaced letters.
  • Access websites directly: Instead of searching for a business or financial institution, type the business’s URL directly into your browser’s address bar to access the official website.
  • Use an online reputation extension: A free web browser extension that uses community ratings to flag suspicious websites, such as WOT (Web of Trust), makes it much easier to catch potential threats.

For Businesses

  • Utilize domain protection services: Use domain protection services to receive notifications when similar domains are registered, helping to prevent domain spoofing.
  • Educate users about spoofed websites: Teach your employees about the risks of spoofed websites and emphasize the importance of verifying destination URLs before clicking on links.
  • Prohibit users from downloading software: Instead of taking any unnecessary risks, it is recommended that businesses prohibit employees from downloading software onto their work devices.

By following these additional tips and using ad blockers, both individuals and businesses can significantly enhance their online security and reduce the risks associated with malicious ads and cyber threats.

Conclusion on Ad Blockers

In today’s digital landscape, ad blockers are essential tools for maintaining online security and privacy. Not only do they protect against malicious ads and cyber threats, but they also offer many other benefits, such as reducing data usage and increasing performance. By using reliable ad blocker software and implementing additional security measures, individuals and businesses can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks.

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