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Microsoft takes the sword to misleading ads

Examples of the malicious ads
Examples of the malicious ads

Microsoft is adopting a tougher stance against misleading advertisements that attempt to guide consumers onto damaging websites.

In a blog post, Microsoft confirmed that the evaluation criteria in its Microsoft Malware Protection Centre will be updated from June 1 to include misleading content and downloads, indistinguishable content and malicious code.

"We've found that these types of advertisements often try to convince a user to do something, the consequences of which they may not fully understand, such as visiting an infected website or downloading a program that can negatively impact their browsing experience," Microsoft explained

SmartScreen Filter ready to help

The majority of the misleading content being referred to concerns popups that attempt to get a user to download content that is not official and can cause damage to the browsing experience. Microsoft will also flag up pages with content that may seem legitimate when it is in fact far from that and the new criteria is also a lot more sensitive to the existence of malicious code on a page.

Internet Explorer users will notice the changes when SmartScreen Filter is turned on and it will flash up with a red warning screen to inform them when a malicious advertisement has been detected.