Being victimized by malware is frustrating and can have disastrous results. Even if the malware hasn’t destroyed your cyber world, cleaning and correcting your infected computer can be time-consuming and costly.
So, if you’re a publisher and your site is the cause of such malware, be prepared to deal with angry visitors and heavy damage to your online reputation. Of course, the most negative effect will be to your bottom line, as site traffic decreases and revenues drop.
Related Read: The Cost of Ad Blockers
As a publisher, your best defense is to take preventative measures to protect your web property. Keeping your server and website virus-free is being responsible to both your site visitors and your business.
Related Read: How to Prevent Fraudulent Traffic to your Website?
One of the easiest ways to fall prey to a malware infection is to work with a dubious ad network that issues you infected ad tags. Being accepted to an ad network can be exciting if you’re new to online publishing, but before adding this new revenue stream, you need to take proper precautions. Here is a shortlist of steps to safeguard yourself.
1) Do a background check on the advertiser/agency
Before joining any ad network or signing up with an advertiser, don’t rely on the credentials they show you. Do your own research by asking for referrals and doing research about their company. If the company is fairly new and there aren’t many helpful search results, check their domain information using Whois Domain Tools.
The statistics will tell you how old their site is, their location, registrar’s name, and other details about their domain. If the information doesn’t match with their presented credentials, then you should be wary of the company and do deeper research until you’re satisfied that they are trustworthy.
2) Inspect ad creatives
Once you’ve received an ad creative, do not open the file in your computer or visit the URL directly. You can use an online security service, such as VirusTotal to scan URLs and files.
Google’s Safe Browsing tool can also give you security information about the website which includes whether or not the site has hosted malware in the past 90 days. Just copy-paste http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=<i>url</i> on your browser and replace <i>url</i> with the actual URL
3) Get a reputable ad server
Ad servers can be a useful tool for preventing malvertisements. In DoubleClick for Publishers, (DFP), creatives are automatically scanned for malware and if ever there’s malware detected, DFP will automatically pull out the ad as a security measure. You can read more about it here.
Related Read: How to Choose the Right Ad Server for your Site
Taking preventative measures against malvertisements is a simple yet necessary task to protect your site, visitors, and your ad revenues.
To make sure you only serve safe, relevant, and high-performing ads – choose an outsourced ad optimization team with real experience and expertise.