Mobile Pop-Ups, Digital Spam with a Side of Dangerous

Technology has become the personal assistant of our dreams, but also the crutch for our brains that we’ve grown increasingly reliant upon. There’s a seemingly unending supply of random information and factoids that you can glean from the web (did you know Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn?). We have information at our fingertips like never before, but don’t forget that your go-to resource also has potential to be seriously scary.

For example, you’re doing some research on that well-deserved summer vacation when suddenly a message for cheap travel to Bali pops onto your screen. Bali? Yes, please! The water is clear and the sand is white—the vacation of your dreams is just one click away. You can taste the piña colada now… but, whoa. Stop right there! Do you know what could be hidden behind these tempting offers? What’s lurking in the background?

You could be walking directly into a nasty cybercrime malvertisement—ads that aim to infect devices with various forms of malware.

I mean, let’s not pretend ads are things we can easily avoid. Online advertising is a booming business that is steadily rivaling traditional marketing. And with all of that content filling our feeds, inboxes, and screens, it makes it hard to differentiate between the good and the bad. One accidental click on your mobile device could launch a nasty virus, effectively handing control over to criminals quicker than you can say “Viva La Vacation!”

Sure, there are multitudes of ads that are safe, but you can never be too careful when clicking. So what should you do to protect yourself and better yet, what are the signs that you may have already been a victim?

Seeing lots of pop-ups on your phone? This could be a sign that your device has already been infected. If you notice an influx of shady looking ads, head to our Knowledge Center and get your study on. Don’t worry, we have your back.

Malicious pop-ups are a no joke threat. As always with mobile security, the best defense is a good offense. Follow these tips:

  • Download Security Software: McAfee® Mobile Security provides plenty of protection to help keep your device safe, including security advice, web and antivirus protection. Plus, unlike falling victim to ransomware, it’s free for Android and iOS!
    Avoid Sketchy Sites: Our phones are increasingly becoming our favorite means of searching the web, but don’t let the ease of use push you into clicking on the wrong ads. To avoid these threats altogether, avoid risky domain names. Always look over the spelling of URLs and avoid sites that ask you to download content. To keep in the clear, access the goods directly from main sites. For cheap flights to Bali, head straight to a popular travel website, rather than clicking the ads you see on the side of an article.
    Close the Window: Don’t click within a pop-up to investigate. Instead, right-click the item to automatically close out. This step will help to prevent the item from launching on your mobile device.

You got this! Avoiding shady pop-ups is all about being conscious of your mobile moves. Cybercrimes are tricky by nature, that’s the point! Use common sense, study up on latest threats, and don’t forget the power that you hold in your hands.

Looking for even more mobile security tips? Make sure to follow @McAfee on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


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