The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a public service announcement, urging people to use ad blocking browser extensions.
Ad blocking software and browser extensions are a popular way to improve the web browsing experiencing, speed up browsing, and protect privacy. Virtually every major browser supports ad blocking extensions, or have such measures built-in.
In a PSA issued on December 21, 2022, the FBI endorses the use of ad blocking measures as a way to protect users against cyber criminals.
Cyber criminals purchase advertisements that appear within internet search results using a domain that is similar to an actual business or service. When a user searches for that business or service, these advertisements appear at the very top of search results with minimum distinction between an advertisement and an actual search result. These advertisements link to a webpage that looks identical to the impersonated business’s official webpage.
The FBI makes the case that ad blockers can help protect against this kind of scam.
Use an ad blocking extension when performing internet searches. Most internet browsers allow a user to add extensions, including extensions that block advertisements. These ad blockers can be turned on and off within a browser to permit advertisements on certain websites while blocking advertisements on others.
It’s good to see the FBI come out in favor of ad blocking and hopefully more individuals will follow their advice.