Bloggers: Beware of Adware

blue question markThese days it’s important to be clued in. Some advertisers have gone into stealth mode and annoying unwanted adware is becoming ubiquitous.  Advertising components are installed by some “shareware” products and there is now a proliferation of unwanted adware and malware, some if which can only be found with deep security scanners, that may be on your computer.

Are you careful about what you download online or add on to your browser? If not, then one day you may find yourself viewing your blog and seeing URL underscoring and colorization trying to direct you and your readers to commercial sites.

Just the facts

WordPress.com has been running advertising on our free hosted blogs since 2006. Many bloggers do not know this because despite the fact they ticked the box required to get a free blog, they did not read the ToS. Many also do not read the advertising entry in the support documents after registering their username and blog(s). Note: The same is also stated on the Store > My Upgrades page. Also note that as the ads do not display to us when we are logged in, and as many use browsers with ad blockers when logged out, they may not realize they are there at all.

The only way to get rid of all advertising on our free hosted WordPress.com blogs is to purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade. But if you do not purchase the upgrade and feel an ad is inappropriate take a screenshot of it,  upload it into your Media Library and contact Staff to let them know it’s there for them to view.

Get those ads off my blog!

Prior to posting a thread to the WordPress.com support forums to get the ads off your blog, take a deep breath and note that WordPress.com does not implement any advertising that results in text underscoring or colorization, text link ads or pop-up ads or links in comments. Know also that to date every blogger who has reported this on the support forums has had a browser-add-on or browser extension, game, toolbar or shopping app that was the cause of the unwanted adware.

Do new browser add-ons, toolbars, game programs from AARP, Wajam, Shopping Sidekick, text-enhance, PlayBryte and/or the phrase “ads not by this website” ring a bell?

So now you know what is likely to be causing unwanted  ads and you understand that it’s not your blog that’s infected, you can deal with eliminating them.

Please try logging out, clearing your browser cache and cookies, disabling all browser add-ons and extensions,  and then do a computer malware and virus scan. Lastly, reboot your computer and try logging in again. View your blog and it’s unlikely that you will still see the advertising you saw before.

That being said, elimination of text-enhance.com ads is not easily done. You can try to delete the program as  they do offer a way to stop the Ads by using a check box,  but the next time you clear your cookies, they send a new cookie and the text-enhance is back on your computer.

Text Enhance

Here’s what a fellow blogger shared:

  1. Go to the Tools box. Open, scroll down to Internet Options.
  2. Click on the Security tab. Click on the Restricted icon (red circle with slash mark).
  3. You should then see a box to the right of the Restricted icon which says Sites. Click on Sites.
    In the Sites box, fill in the URL of the Site (Text Enhance).
  4. Click on Add. This “ought,” “should” prevent Text Enhance from sending more Cookies to reinstall Text Enhance.

I tried using TE’s unsubscribe directions, I tried using the Control Panel, the C drive, the Downloads from the Favorites section in the Documents section, Chrome, and Firefox, and could not eliminate Text Enhance. TE is sneaky. There is no record anywhere in my computer of ever downloading TE. So, try the following:

  1. Tools
  2. Internet options
  3. Security tab
  4. Click on Restricted icon
  5. To the right of Restricted icon, click on Sites
  6. In Sites, fill in the URL of the Text Enhance:

    http://text-enhance.com

  7. Click on ADD. Click on Close.
    This returns you to the Internet Options box under the Security tab. Click on OK at bottom of page.

Related article and video: Facebook teaches users how to remove adware (video)

VoiceFive

To opt out of the VoiceFive survey:
1. Go to voicefive.com/Privacy.aspx.
2. Scroll down to the section Are cookies used by your website or your application?
3. Click the Click here link. (A cookie that will block pop-up surveys from VoiceFive will be placed on your computer.)

Discussion

I’m wondering if any of my reader’s have experienced this and if so I’d like to here about their experience and what they did to eliminate unwanted adware.

Do you see unwanted adware when you view your blog?

Have you removed any unwanted adware from your browser or computer?

30 thoughts on “Bloggers: Beware of Adware

  1. Pingback: ADBLOCK TAR BORT IRRITERANDE REKLAM | Father Bens blog

  2. Pingback: ENKELT TA BORT STÖRANDE REKLAM PÅ WORDPRESS | Father Bens blog

  3. Pingback: Online Security Threat Predictions for 2013 | one cool site

  4. Pingback: unwanted ads | Ripe Red Berries

  5. Pingback: Advertising on WordPress.com Blogs | one cool site

  6. Pingback: Forum Answers | New – Boating Safety test site -

  7. If my math is correct any blog getting over 30,000 page views a year and has No Ads Upgrade costs WordPress.com ad revenue – so that might account for the interest in getting blogs to shift to Ad Words – and since you need a custom domain name for Ad Words WordPress.com would make a bit more money

  8. Pingback: Malware Targets Macs and Windows PCs | one cool site

  9. Hi Mark,
    I have very few browser add-ons and I’m extremely cautious when it comes to downloading any others. I sympathize with those who post to the forums. Some annoying add-ons and malware are easily removed but some are not easy to be shed of.

    • Hello there,
      I think many people have unwittingly downloaded share ware and browser add-ons that have these advertising links. Aside from the annoyance factor, it’s important to know that clicking the links provides advertisers with the ability to track you online and record your preferences.

      P.S. Thanks for the compliment on the new look.

  10. I have Firefox set to clear everything when I log off too. It is very important, I think, to keep the web browser and internet security programs up to date!

    I have yet to figure out why one WordPress.com blog that I visit often has an ad on it, even though I am logged on to my WordPress account. The blogger doesn’t understand why either.

    • Hi Margie,
      You have twigged my curiosity re: this blog with the ad. I ran my browser with AdBlock disabled for a full month. What an experience that was! It made me wonder how many blogger running AdBlock on their browsers have never disabled it so they can experience their blogs as their readers do.

  11. Very interesting and helpful. I learned (the hard way) a couple years ago to do a full scrub of cookies, cache, etc. of my computer at least three times a week. It’s helped it run more efficiently – but these ads are something else. Thanks for posting! Mary

    • Hi Mary,
      I have my Firefox browser set up to clear my browser cache and cookies every time I log off the internet. This works very well for me as I’m never viewing cached content. Aside from that I run only a few browser add-ons and I’m very cautious when it comes to downloading any new ones.

      • Thanks Timethief, and I think I’m going to go in now and make it a practice for the system to clear my browser cache and cookies every time as well.

        I really like your new header image, seascapes are my favorite subject. Thanks for all your great tips! Mary

  12. tt-with the redesign of the Free Features page, there’s no mention of the “we sometimes show advertising”. You now have to go to the new Store/Shop for Upgrades page to see that info on the No Ads upgrade.

  13. Pingback: Bloggers: Beware of Adware | better blogging tips | Scoop.it

    • The No-Ads Upgrade exempts your blog from having any WordPress.com implemented advertising on it for one year when we have to renew it. The upgrade can’t stop the kind of ads I point to. They aren’t on the blog. They are either browser add-ons, toolbars, extensions, etc. or they are on the computer.

  14. I do pay for the “no ads” on 2 of my blogs. I noticed that when viewing one of my posts from my husband’s laptop, that there were words with colored fonts that were underlined…when clicked, they went to ads. So, is that originating in my computer or on his laptop?

    • If you can’t see ads on blogs when you are logged out of wordpress.com but you can see them when you use the laptop then it’s the laptop that’s the problem. Please try logging out of the laptop, clearing the browser cache and cookies, disabling all browser add-ons and extensions, and then do a malware and virus scan. Lastly, reboot the laptop and try viewing your blogs again.

Comments are closed.