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'Malvertisements' creating havoc for consumers and legitimate advertisers

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An article in USA Today last week by Byron Acohido reported on the spike in the number of ads that infect computers to nearly 15,000 in May, a nearly ten-fold increase over the last year. Tainted ads have been found on well respected sites such as,, and

Consumers visit these reputable sites only to be faced with a system that is locked up until they purchase worthless 'protection' for $35. Since all of these sites regularly accept advertisements from others for display on their sites, it is up to them to make sure that the advertisements they are displaying are legitimate.

Unhappy consumers are blaming the sites that they believe hosted the malvertisements on Twitter and other social networks. Website security firm Armorize has been documenting consumer complaints and notes that these complaints have caused a drop in visits to the accused sites.

You can protect yourself by making sure that your anti-virus software is up to date and that you have installed all of the security updates for browsers and popular applications, especially Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader.

If you need help, consult with an experienced computer company.

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