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Misleading Advertising (Which Button Do I Click?)

November 27 2012

Advertisement is nothing new when it comes to the web. In fact, it's a large factor of the total revenue generated from the web, but not all ads are here to serve as our friend. There are plenty of websites used for downloading content, but recently there has been a large trend of placing a fake and additional download button where it is not needed. These fake download buttons are made to attract the eye with their large and flashy buttons, but do not be fooled by this trickery. These phony download buttons often redirect users to malicious websites that can infect your computer with malware.

It seems as if it would be easy to avoid these ads, but with the success of these fake advertisements, they seem to grow more apparent. Below, I will be showing some examples of these ads and review each one. 

The first example shown is one of the more common methods used, using multiple "Download" buttons to confuse the user. In reality, none of the download buttons will download what you want; the green arrows are actually the links that take you to the file you want.

mcw misleading ad 1

This next example is one that tricks almost everyone. Right off the bat, one might assume that the download button will download your file, right? Nothing in life is that easy! This ad does a great job of disguising the actual link above the "download" button. The size of the link is small, which makes it too easy to miss.

mcw misleading ad 2

This is an example of where the fake "download" button might take you. Users are redirected to web pages that show a video, requiring Flash software. Here it goes on to ask the user to download the software in order to view the video. In reality, you could be downloading nasty malicious software that may be stealing your personal information.

mcw misleading ad 3

It is nearly impossible to go on a website without having your browser bombarded with advertisements—this is why it is absolutely critical to be sure of everything you are clicking on. The advertisement companies will always be creating ads, which produce an opportunity for cyber-criminals to infect your system. Therefore, you must always be watchful when surfing the web to keep you and your family protected!

To view the original article, visit the My Computer Works blogMy Computer Works blog.

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