ad blocking wars

Ad Blocking – It’s a Jungle Out There

As of yesterday my AdBlocker Plus plugin on my iPhone had blocked 34,667 ads in total. Today, a matter of only 8 work hours later, my plugin is up to 39,631. That’s nearly a 5,000-ad difference. Granted, I scout for a lot of information and inspiration for different tasks I work on throughout the day, but still, 5,000 ads in only 8 hours’ time is impressive.

Ad blocking in general has become a hot-button topic as of late, mostly because of the rise of anti-Ad software. Try saying that three times fast. To get a better understanding, if you have an ad blocker enabled, try going to Chances are you won’t be allowed to see any content because, short and sweet, Forbes is greedy. They want the revenue that comes from your pain of having to see “a light ad experience” (whatever that means).

When it comes to our own company, yes, we brainstorm and work with clients who use such pay-per-click platforms as Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter and others. Does that mean that we ask others to turn off ad-blocking software? No, but it’s not because we don’t want to ask, it’s moreso because we’re not creating revenue, but rather customer conversions.

Ad Blocking: Good, Bad or Indifferent

All of the above to illustrate not that ad blocking is good or bad, but rather that the world of technology is divided on how ad blocking and ad displaying should function. In Europe, their e-privacy directive specifically denies the right to request or access user information without explicit consent. Simply put, that means that anti-ad-blocking software is implicitly illegal. Here in the US, that’s not the case. Content producers are enabled to do whatever they wish—after all, it is their content.

84.2% of the American population has access to internet, and of those, roughly 45 million use ad-blocking software (that’s roughly 16.7% of internet users). Still, that costs publishers that obtain revenue through ads a considerable amount of money. Does that give them the power to impose ads on those that don’t use them? Should those 45 million be asked to submit to the power of publishers? What’s your take on the ad-blocking controversy?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design. Paul grew up in Cedar Rapids, attended Washington High School and is Mike Albee’s brother, serving clients across upstate New York, Eastern Iowa and nationwide.

Quicktime for Windows Security

Quicktime for Windows – Security Vulnerability

If you haven’t already seen something about it, Apple earlier this week announced that if you use Windows as your operating system and you have QuickTime (Apple’s movie player), you should probably remove it quickly. And it wasn’t only Apple that announced this; a U.S. government agency was actually the one to issue the ultimatum to uninstall QuickTime.

QuickTime is vulnerable to a zero-day exploit—a loophole that hackers know about before the company becomes aware of it—and Apple ended support for the Windows version of QuickTime in January of this year.

Graham Cluley says

If you are running QuickTime for Windows on your personal computer, you should uninstall it as soon as possible.

QuickTime is a multimedia solution designed by Apple. It allows a computer to handle video, audio, and interactive content on its computers. The software was originally released on Mac computers back in 1991, and eventually showed up on Windows machines at a later date.

Fast-forward to last year. In November of 2015, researchers at the Zero-Day Initiative (ZDI) discovered two remote code execution vulnerabilities in Windows installations of QuickTime.

You can read more of what they say here.

Wondering if you have QuickTime and want to know how to get rid of it? Give us a call and we can make sure that your computer is up-to-date and QuickTime-free. We know viruses are nasty, and we want to make sure you stay far away from them. Our computer security and computer repair services can keep you up to date and running smooth.

Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Windows Server 2003 End Of Life Has Arrived

With Microsoft removing support for Windows Server 2003 this past week, it will no longer deliver critical security updates or patches for the system. This is something that should give small business owners pause (and sleepless nights), whether you are a website designer or a Dayspa owner that relies on your server and software to maintain confidential client information and accounting information.

More information here:

The Heartbleed Virus – What You Should Know

With the widespread use online payment options and the vulnerability of personal information online, digital security has become something on everyone’s mind.  For businesses operating e-ecommerce website that use secure server functionality when accepting payments, this can be especially worrysome.  Many digital merchant solutions rely on a technology called OpenSSL to protect user information while the transaction process is being complete.  Enter the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability which has introduced a level of risk and vulnerability that organizations need to review and monitor.

While this is a fairly old vulnerability and virtually all hosting providers addressed the issue quickly, other risks and vulnerabilities continue to appear. Vigilance is key.  Never assume your merchant data is secure.  Make sure on a regular basis.

You may be asking, “Am I vulnerable?” and “What should I do?”

There is a good article on the Heartbleed Vulnerability and other good digital security reading over at Trend Micro, a market leader in computer security.  We encourage you to take a look at their information and get help from a qualified computer service professional if you have any questions.