NZ, Aussie govt agencies encourage people to install ad blockers

Now their adoption could become even more entrenched in the mainstream.

Ad blockers are already the bane of mainstream media websites’ existence, with one study saying a million Kiwis have one installed.

Now their adoption could become even more entrenched in the mainstream, with government agencies on both sides of the Tasman encourage people to install them.

Here, the newly formed Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert) issued a warning over the weekend about “Kovter,” a piece of malware stealthily distributed via X-rated websites.

“This malicious software is traditionally used in online advertising fraud to generate money by getting people to click on fake adverts,” Cert says.

Cert’s prevention advice includes “Consider using ad blockers in your web browser.”

In Australia, the Department of Defence’s Signals Directorate is more forthright, saying people on all levels of government should install an ad blocker as one of its “Essential Eight” tips for preventing malware from running on a PC.

I’ve already got an ad blocker installed, which I use for certain sites. I realise mainstream media sites will always need ad revenue, and I don’t begrudge them it. But I just can’t read an article when there is a gyrating ad in the middle of it.

With Google introducing ad blocking as the default in its Chrome browser (naturally, Google’s own ads are exempt), and Facebook’s boosted posts defying blockers, our dynamic duo look set to continue their domination of online advertising. Step one to turning the tide will be mainstream news sites adopting ad tactics that don’t induce a headache and double vision, all but demanding that the discerning reader installs a blocker.

By the way, if you don’t have a blocker installed, you’ll have noticed that NBR is an ad-light site, with only one ad per page – and, after our pending redesign, there will be no ads on story pages. That’s because this site makes most of its money from reader subscriptions, which means a focus on what you want to read, not throwing annoying messages in your face, at the wrong time.

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