...and how to block them.
I hope I've made the screenshot sufficiently self-explanatory. Basically, I caught dA's banner ad system in the act.
There were even a couple of months (admittedly quite a while ago) where I got this sort of thing at least once a week.
So, I blocked the first two sites involved, "optimizedby.rmxads.com" and "partner.googleadservices.com", by editing my "hosts" file (anyone wanna learn how?), and that solved the problem. (It's a more extreme and tricky step than is necessary, but it works for me.) Blocking the latter also apparently fixed the problem with some ads appearing in the wrong places and completely screwing up dA's layout.
You gotta be more careful, deviantART! You gotta be more careful about where you get your ads from!
And the rest of us all better have good virus protection! (
I like [Free AVG]
, but even McAfee is better than nothing... maybe.)
(Incidentally, I've also noticed the same problem, though much more rarely, on the SmackJeeves site.)
-How to protect yourself if you use FireFox:
A good ad-blocking plugin will do it. I strongly recommend [Ad-block Plus]
, although [Noscript]
is also a popular alternative; either one will work great here.How to protect yourself if you use Internet Explorer:[Please read this.]How to protect yourself if you use Google Chrome:
There are now versions of [Ad-block Plus]
for Chrome, Opera, Safari, and other browsers.Do you need a good free Antivirus program?
Some years ago, some company ran some comprehensive tests that rated several free AV programs based on their effectiveness, their user interface, and their impact on system performance. AVG got third place, behind avast! and Avira.
(Microsoft Security Essentials was also part of this test. It didn't do well!)
I already liked AVG at the time, and it rated highest for user-friendliness, so that's the one I recommended to everyone. However, this was before AVG 2011, which seems less effective and hopelessly bloated to me. Lately, I've been recommending [avast! free]
!Other steps you should take:
If you use Windows, "Automatic Updates" must always be enabled. Also note that [Windows Update]
will list "Internet Explorer 8" as a high-priority update on Windows XP systems if you don't have it already; this is for a good reason! I recommend that all Windows users keep IE updated to the newest version available, because this updates system components as well.
Also, IE should not be your primary browser! I strongly recommend you use an alternative browser. Right now I'm using [Firefox]
and I love it! Google Chrome
is also a popular alternative.
Some of these viruses infect your computer by using "malformed" PDF files. To protect yourself from those, you should ensure that you have the newest version of Adobe Reader. (That's version 10.0.1 as of April 28, 2011.) [Get it here.]
(Alternatively, you can remove all PDF support, but that's less easy and less practical.)
Also, make sure you have the newest version of Flash. Adobe provides [this page]
which will tell you which version of Flash Player you have installed, and which version is current. (That's version 10.2.159.1 as of April 28, 2011.) If you don't have the current version, you need to upgrade.
(In general, you should always check all Adobe software for updates frequently, because they're sloppier programmers than Microsoft.)
I also recommend "SpywareBlaster
". It is not an antivirus program and does not remain in memory or use CPU resources, but it contains a huge list of evil and "restricted" sites, ActiveX controls, and tracking cookies, and reconfigures your browser's security settings (in IE, FF and Chrome) to block them all. This provides an additional layer of protection, best used in addition to a memory-resident antivirus program (such as
avast!) and a good ad blocker.
Also worth having: "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
". The free version does not offer memory-resident virus protection, but can be used alongside other antivirus software to periodically scan for (and remove) viruses that your other software may miss.
I hope this helps make the internet a slightly safer place. Spread the word; knowledge is power!