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Fixing IE security risk blocks AdSense

     
5:13 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Microsoft is recommending that users turn off the 'Drag and drop or copy and paste files' option in Internet Explorer and set security levels to high for the Internet zone."

This is the message in news articles all over the Web. Security is the #1 priority, I understand -- but the unintended consequence is that AdSense ads will not be displayed for users who set their Internet Zone security to "high."

Obviously not all Internet users will read these articles and even less will follow the instructions, but I'm betting that quite a few will.

What if a future security update that was delivered to millions of machines via automatic updates changed the default security to "high" for everyone? As someone who depends on AdSense revenue, I find this very concerning.

5:56 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OUCH!

I just tried it myself, and setting the Internet security setting to HIGH does block AdSense. It completely blocks it, and the space the ad would normally occupy vanishes.

6:07 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So, it's time we all encouraged our visitors to Get da fox [mozilla.org]. One more reason here, now :)
6:16 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Umm.....

Maybe that's why Microsoft is encouraging users to set security to hgh?! lol

6:22 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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" Maybe that's why Microsoft is encouraging users to set security to hgh?! lol "

You never know hehe ;)

This is one of those nice "unintended consequences" for MS. :)

6:25 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Macro has it right, get firefox. I did about two months ago and have not looked back.
6:48 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So, it's time we all encouraged our visitors to Get da fox.

Until they start looking into extensions, of which Ad Block is one of the most popular...

6:50 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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on highest security ie blocks all javascripts, it's not decision for safe browsing... ms doesn't find right ways to protect user. so get firefox and be happy.
7:01 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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PMJI, but are we discussing Firefox or AdSense?
7:15 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The news story related to this fix suggested people use an alternative browser to IE, and if they did not want to do that, to change the IE settings that would result in blocking AdSense. That is why the Firefox issue up with this security issue.
8:00 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft migth be trying to sabotage G's adsense ;)
8:28 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I doubt this will get too popular since it makes many sites non functional. People will try it though. Then they will notice that they see no flash or javascript (and whatever else is blocked) and they will wonder what they are missing, especially if there is a firefox link on the page.
I also don't worry too much about firefox's ad blocker. It seems like G and Mozilla have a good enough relationship that adsense will be let through in future versions if G raises the issue.
10:05 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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99.9999% of web users will never become aware of this issue, let alone potential fixes.
11:47 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is a good reason for Google to develop an Adsense webservice API...so we could inject the Adsense html code right into the page without Iframes or javascript.
2:15 am on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Until they start looking into extensions, of which Ad Block is one of the most popular...

AdBlock doesn't block any ads by default. You have to tell AdBlock specifically what to block. For that reason I'd prefer people to use Firefox over IE. Fewer ads will get blocked that way.
2:25 am on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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99.9999% of web users will never become aware of this issue, let alone potential fixes.

That's certainly true of my visitors but I'm afraid it wont be that long before blocking like this will be a part of all viris checkers and even built into the new computers. My people would have no idea how to unblock the ads even if they wanted to.

2:01 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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yes, if enough people have antivirus progs that block by default...not good for this sort of advertising.

However, most people don't run antivirus programs or antispyware programs, even among the more pc savvy. Re: antivirus stuff, most use whatever limited-time program was installed on their pc at purchase. And when it runs out, they don't renew the subscription. And I never ever run into a "normal joe" who ever updates his OS. Re: antispyware, almost nobody among the general public has heard of adaware or spybot. I could run a business just making housecalls cleaning up people's temp files, cookies, xrated toolbars, and hijackers. 75 bucks a visit for 10 minutes to clean all that out, do a disc scan and reset the browser defaults.

I think the people at google know this, that's why they're not particularly worried in the short term. But, for the long term, they might want to consider buying up entities like mcafee or norton. Is mozilla private? Is so, buy it to get control of firefox. They might also want to develop the next best antispyware program (adsense friendly) and give it away and market it heavily so it becomes the chosen default.

2:49 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know if this also blocks regular ads on the google searchengine or just the adsense ones?
3:19 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the windows update patch fixes the problem, but doesn't affect adsense.
3:26 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And I never ever run into a "normal joe" who ever updates his OS. Re: antispyware, almost nobody among the general public has heard of adaware or spybot. I could run a business just making housecalls cleaning up people's temp files, cookies, xrated toolbars, and hijackers. 75 bucks a visit for 10 minutes to clean all that out, do a disc scan and reset the browser defaults.

I might have agreed with this a year ago, (all except the 10 minute part which is silly) but with every local news station doing "consumer alert" segments on the spyware epidemic people are aware of the problem and many are pushing the "update" button on their PC and even doing some reading.

People ARE running Microsoft products and they turn to Microsoft or the producer of their PC when they get scared, if MS or Dell says "quick, click here", they'll do it, heck these are the same folks that answered yes when they got a popup that said "do you want to download and install the new super shopper toolbar?".

It seems to me that in the end, Google may need to rethink the way adsense is served, would a PHP include work for them, don't know just guessing now...

3:36 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Flick of a switch and M$ could put Google out of business....classic!
3:55 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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<I could run a business just making housecalls cleaning up people's temp files, cookies, xrated toolbars, and hijackers>

I've been getting quite a bit of extra work doing that!

3:57 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>>Re: antispyware, almost nobody among the general public has heard of adaware or spybot

Possibly true, but this is going to change. This is about user's direct experiences, and about perception of a threat. Perception-wise, California has just outlawed spyware [news.bbc.co.uk...] and I'm sure a sizeable portion of the 35 million or so who live there will have read about this.

Also, the 'average joe' is going to be getting more and more info about such things thrown at them by the media. Antivirus software makers will respond, as will PC manufacturers bundling software.

On top of that, in terms of direct experiences, as more average joes suffer directly from troublesome elements, the more this will impact further. For example, only last week a very non-technical friend had to pay for diallers on his phone bill - he now has a very protected machine.

4:05 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I like IE, but if its going to pinch me bad, then off with it. Get firefoxed, guys.
4:09 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft's automatic updating takes care of the critical updates.
4:24 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone seen the actual origin of this supposed Microsoft response where they make this recomendation? A quick Google search found plenty of places with the Microsoft quote which began this topic. But I can't find the origin.
4:24 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So, when is MS coming out with their own Adsense like program then?! ;-)
4:28 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> They might also want to develop the next best antispyware program (adsense friendly) and give it away and market it heavily so it becomes the chosen default.

I think I heard about a company that did something similar to this once... They developed some software that was "company friendly" and quite hostile to other developers' software, "blocking" it from working. I'm not sure, but I think they were called "Microsoft," and I believe their tatics lead to an anti-trust lawsuit, but I might be wrong.

> Get da fox. One more reason here, now

Yes, lord knows my life would be an empty shell if I didn't get to see a thousand ads for a thousand products I would never buy...

5:45 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Macro has it right, get firefox. I did about two months ago and have not looked back. "

it doesn't make a difference if 90% of the users use IE. Can't say that I'm not smiling a bit. We have been begging Google for months to do something since many of our sites are essentially gone from Google for no fault of our own (linked via 302 links), yet Google doesn't seem to care. It sucks when your livelyhood is impacted greatly there's nothing you can do, doesn't it Google? Now all MSFT has to do is make this the default setting...

6:34 pm on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Would there be any way for webmasters to identify which browsers are blocking their Google Adsense ads and in turn, block them from viewing the webpage?

I for one have no intention of letting users who block ads on my websites view for free the content I worked hard to produce.

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