Jeremiah Grossman, CTO of Web security firm White Hat Security recommends companies block web advertisements. An InformationWeek article quotes him as saying “I don’t think there’s any upside for a corporation to allow ads — they take up employee time, burn bandwidth, and represent risk.”
Malware has been served through banner ads at legitimate websites. Does that justify blocking all advertisement as a security risk?
Is it ethical to block advertisements or is there an understanding that these ads help the webmaster pay the bills. Is an ad-bock company wide different from an individual installing advertisement filtering software?
I laughed when a Turner Broadcasting executive suggested there was a compact between TV viewers and providers to watch the commercials in order to pay for the product. Yet, I tend to be more on the side of webmasters regarding ads. It’s not a pure comparison because most DVRs aren’t automatically skipping all commercials the way an ad blocker would.
I suppose my reaction to ad blocking as a security precaution is that there are many other layers of protection. To block ads would add extra work. First I’d have to make sure that ads were blocked in such a way as to not disrupt the appearance of the served website. Additionally, I would have to deal with sites that block those who ad block. Seems rather tedious, and a better idea would be to improve the web security product used to protect against all malware attacks rather than just those serviced by banner ad companies.