According to a new survey by advert filtering company AdGuard, 57 percent of internet users have either fallen prey to advert scammers, or are worried about malicious and phishing advertising.
In addition 48 percent of respondents have experienced privacy issues with tracking requests hidden in online ads, leading to the email spam, unwanted incoming calls and IM chats.
“We expect the volumes of malware distributed by hijacked ad networks to rise, since online advertising remains largely unregulated and prone to scammer abuse,” Adguard’s CTO Andrey Meshkov says. “Ad blocking as we know it these days must be viewed as web content hygiene — similar to taking a shower or cleaning your teeth. Are you still not preoccupied with your web content? Well, you should be.”
The survey also asked respondents to rank the most important features they look for in an ad blocker. Unsurprisingly, blocking online adverts is important for 86 percent, and removal of annoying ads in apps is key for 64 percent.
There’s also concern over cyber security and privacy issues. Over a half of respondents (57 percent) see advertising as a source of malware and unwanted tracking, and are looking for means to protect their data. 44 percent say that reducing web traffic and increasing the load speed of websites are important to save bandwidth and battery capacity — especially on laptops and smartphones.
More than a third of respondents say they have tried multiple browsers with various ad issues and vulnerabilities. 34 percent prefer browser extensions for blocking ads instead of native applications.