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4 tips to help prevent drive-by downloads

If you have ever installed a software program, you are probably familiar with having to click on an “accept”, “confirm”, or “agree” button before the program will install.  A drive-by download is a download of adware, malware, or software not authorized by the user.  A drive-by download can happen as you visit websites.  The downloads happen in the background with the most common purposes of recording sites you visit and searching for passwords on your system.

A drive-by download can simply happen as an advertisement on a page.  The ad will probably have a catchy title and it may be animated to get your attention.  If the ad is malicious and you click on it, your click is considered consensual and it is allowed to download.  Drive-by downloads can also be in the forms of annoying pop-up windows or windows that appear as apparent warnings  about your system.

Here are 4 tips to help prevent becoming a victim of a drive-by download.

1.  Always run an up-to-date antivirus program

2.  Keep operating systems patched and updated

3.  Be careful what sites you visit

4.  Be cautious of clicking on advertisements

Christina Bonds

Christina Bonds is an Application Specialist in the Web Technology department at Elon University.

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