Happy belated New Year’s from Lavasoft. Here are three simple ways you can start the new year with increased online security and peace of mind.

Change Your Passwords

As a popular online quote says, “Oh good, a banner ad…said no one ever.” Online advertising comes in many forms, including banner ads at the top of websites, automatic videos that play before your chosen YouTube content and the dreaded pop-up window. While online content creators rely on advertising for a portion of their profits, the increasingly invasive nature of online ads has created demand for ad blocking solutions.

In addition to having up-to-date antivirus software, ad blockers are becoming a must-have extension to keep you protected online. Here are five ways in which an ad blocker keeps you and your loved ones safe: 

Protects You from Malicious Ads

It’s the season for holiday online shopping. As you avoid the crowded malls and parking lots with the convenience of online shopping, we want to help keep your credit card and personal information safe. While most online stores do a good job of protecting their customers, it never hurts to exercise good online security practices. Here are five important safety tips that will help you maintain your privacy and security while shopping online:

1.  Right now 220 million global users have an ad blocker installed on their desktop computer. That’s 4x the number of users since 2013.

2. That number is even higher for mobile users: at least 419 million people are blocking ads on their mobile devices today. That’s 22% of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users.

For the fourth time in as many months, Adobe has released another critical update to its Flash software. The update addresses a new zero day vulnerability that was discovered last week. Such zero day vulnerabilities are not known to the creators of the vulnerable software or to the public. Subsequently, they can be exploited by cybercriminals to infect computers and mobile devices running the software. 

In 2015, the FBI’s internet crime center received 288,012 complaints totalling over $1 billion US in reported losses. Almost half of the internet crime complaints were tied to a financial loss for the respective victims. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) provides the public with a platform for reporting cybercrime. The figures are from their recently released 2015 Internet Crime Report.


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