If you’re seeing ads on Wikipedia, your computer is probably infected with malware – Diff

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We never run ads on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is funded by more than 1,000,000 donors, who give an average donation of under 30 dollars. We run fundraising appeals, usually at the top of the year. If you’re seeing adverts for a for profit industry see screenshot below for an example or anything else but our fundraiser, then your web browser has likely been contaminated with malware. Malware put in in your laptop may inject advertising into a page on regularly occurring websites, reminiscent of this Wikipedia article.

This is an example that we’ve seen in the wild. Note the tiny text “ads not by this site” automatically below the ad, that might or won’t appear next to these types of injected ads. One instance that we have seen installs itself as a browser extension. The extension is termed “I want this” and installs itself in Google Chrome. To remove it:There is probably going other identical malware that injects ads into Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and other established browsers. If you spot examples so that you can document, please point them out in the comments.

Ads injected during this manner may be restrained to a few sites, even simply to Wikipedia, or they may show up on all sites you visit. Browsing through a safe HTTPS connection which you can automate using the HTTPS all over the place extension may cause the ads to disappear, but won’t fix the underlying challenge. Disabling browser add ins is a good starting point to check the source of those sorts of ads. This does not necessarily fix the source of the problem either, as malware may make deep adjustments in your operating system. If you’re comfortable attempting a malware scan and removal yourself, there are various adware/malware elimination tools.

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Popular and well reviewed solutions come with Ad Aware and Malwarebytes. But bear in mind that these kinds of tools also can bundle software, or leave your laptop in an unusable state. If in doubt, have your computing device evaluated for malware by a competent and certified desktop repair center. There is one more reason you can be seeing ads: Your Internet service may be injecting them into web pages. This is undoubtedly the case with Internet cafes or “free” instant connections. This New York Times blog post by Brian Chen gives an example.

But rest assured: you won’t be seeing legit adverts on Wikipedia. We’re here to distribute the sum of human capabilities to all and sundry on this planet — ad free, continually.