Not all forms of malware require manually downloading. You may inadvertently download malware simply by visiting a website. Known as a drive-by download, it’s a common type of cyber threat that affects both businesses and consumers. Drive-by downloads occur when you visit a website that forces malware onto your computer. You can still use the internet for leisure or work, but you should consider these cybersecurity tips to protect against drive-by downloads.

Install a Script-Blocker

Since they often involve scripts, drive-by downloads can be prevented by installing a script-blocker. A script-blocker is a program — typically in the form of a browser extension or add-on — that’s designed to block JavaScript from executing. Many instances of drive-by downloads involve JavaScript. If you visit an infected website, malicious JavaScript code may force malware onto your computer. A script-blocker protects against these attacks by blocking JavaScript so that it can’t be executed.

Some of the most popular script-blockers include the following:

  • NoScript
  • Script Blocker
  • Script Blocker Ultimate
  • ScriptBlock

Update Web Browser

Keeping your web browser updated is essential to protecting against drive-by downloads. Whether you use Firefox, Chrome, Edge or any other web browser, it will probably receive updates. You’ll need to install these updates so that your computer runs the latest version.

If your web browser is outdated, it may susceptible to drive-by downloads. Most modern web browsers are designed to protect against automated and malicious downloads. To receive this protection, you’ll need to run the latest version, which requires updating your web browser.

Use an Ad-Blocker

In addition to a script-blocker, an ad-blocker can lower your risk of succumbing to drive-by downloads. Ad-blockers, of course, are designed to block ads from displaying on websites. Unbeknownst to many users, though, they can prove useful in defending against drive-by downloads as well.

Ads are often used to deploy malware via drive-by downloads. When an ad executes, it may force malware onto your computer. You can protect against these drive-by download attacks by using an ad-blocker. Like script-blockers, ad-blockers consist of extensions or add-ons. Installing an ad-blocker on your web browser will give you a higher level of protection against drive-by downloads.

Drive-by downloads are a major concern. You can visit an otherwise legitimate-looking website, only for it to force malware onto your computer. The good news is that you can prevent these attacks from occurring by installing a script-blocker, updating your web browser and using an ad-blocker.

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