- TV Tropes, as a site, does not contain malware. We are a text-and-image wiki and it is impossible for someone editing the site to embed malware into the wiki itself.
- 99.99% of the time, any suspected malware will be related to the wiki advertising.
- TV Tropes does not control the ads that are displayed. We use third-party ad providers and we have only limited ability to control the format of the ads (things like the size and placement, whether we allow Flash or not, whether we allow audio or not, and so forth).
- Just because you see a particular ad doesn't mean everyone else sees it. Ads are customized by the ad providers to your location (by IP address), the content of the page you're viewing, and your browsing profile, which is tracking data accumulated by third parties over the course of all your internet browsing.
- Just because you get a malware warning or infection that seems related to an ad on TV Tropes does not necessarily mean that it is caused by one of our ads. Pre-existing malware on your computer can intercept ads and replace them with malicious ones.
What can be reported to our provider.
- Ads containing malware, obviously.
- Misbehaving ads, such as ones that load a pop-up or pop-under, or redirect your browser to another page.
- "Adult" or NSFW ads. Scantily clad women alone may or may not qualify, depending on context, but we want this site to be work-safe.
- Ads that automatically play audio — that is, the audio starts without you clicking on the ad first. Video ads are acceptable.
How to protect yourself.
- First and foremost, maintain current, updated antivirus software, and keep your operating system and browser up to date with all patches offered by the software vendors. This includes Adobe Flash, Java, and other rich media plug-ins. Turn on your software's automatic updates if they are not already on and act immediately when prompted to install them.
- Never click on pop-ups purporting to have detected a virus, offering to "tune up" your PC, or otherwise inducing you to click on a link that you were not expecting. Any genuine message of this nature would come from your antivirus software and not from a web page.
- Be careful clicking on external links. These are identified with a small icon next to them. Example: Google. TV Tropes does not endorse or control the content of external links and you open them at your own risk.
- Never respond to any email or web page that asks for personal or financial information, including passwords, unless you have verified its identity. No reputable company will ever ask you for your password(s), other than to log in.
- You may choose to opt out of having tracking information collected by ad providers. This does not stop malware but helps you maintain your online privacy. See here for additional information.
- TV Tropes requests that you do not use ad blocking software while visiting us, as this site depends on advertising revenue to operate. If you do run an ad blocker, please add tvtropes.org to its exception list, or consider donating to the site to have certain ads removed.
What to do if you suspect a malicious ad.
- Try to identify the source URL of the suspect ad (see below).
- Identify the ad provider. Some ads have a small area that links to the ad provider's page (like Google or AOL). In other cases, you can tell from the referral URL or you can look it up in a search.
- Go to the ad provider's contact/abuse page and fill out their form. Below are some links to common providers' abuse pages:
- Scan your computer for viruses. If your antivirus software will not operate (many malicious programs attempt to disable your antivirus software), you can download a scanning tool on a known clean system and run it on your infected machine from a read-only CD-R or flash drive.
- If you suspect that you've been tricked into divulging personal information to a phishing attempt or other fraud, change your passwords to affected sites immediately and contact your bank, credit card companies, and the credit bureaus to request a fraud alert.
- Please note that TV Tropes cannot assist you with the specifics of maintaining your computer. That's your responsibility. You may request general help in the appropriate forums, but please don't post new threads in the forums dedicated to wiki operation (Wiki Talk, Frequently Asked Questions, etc.).
- Sometimes, the wiki administration can get better results from the ad providers in dealing with malicious ads. If you can identify a malicious ad by referral URL, you can post the link in this thread, but please omit the "http" component so it doesn't create a hyperlink that someone might click on inadvertently.
Identifying the source of a Flash ad.
- For Flash ads, it is typically impossible to identify the source or the URL by right-clicking. In these cases, you need to view the page source to identify the ad so we can report it.
- In Internet Explorer, you can right-click in a blank or text area of any web page, and choose View Source from the context menu. Firefox also has this option. In Chrome, you can use the Inspect Element menu option, which interactively highlights the portion of the page whose code you are hovering over.
- For Flash ads, there will be a "frame" element with a "src" parameter. These will be inside a parent frame with a "src" parameter containing "optimized-by.rubiconproject.com".
- All we need to identify the ad is the "src" URL from that frame.
edited 13th Jul '15 9:49:02 AM by Fighteer
Hosted by: tvtropes.org We recommend that you do not continue to this website. This website has been reported to Microsoft for containing threats to your computer that might reveal personal or financial information. This website has been reported to contain the following threats: Malicious software threat: This site contains links to viruses or other software programs that can reveal personal information stored or typed on your computer to malicious persons.
edited 13th Dec '11 4:41:32 PM by Fighteer
edited 13th Dec '11 1:41:53 AM by arks
edited 13th Dec '11 3:32:42 PM by Zyffyr
edited 14th Dec '11 10:09:21 AM by Madrugada
edited 14th Dec '11 10:32:21 AM by FastEddie
edited 14th Dec '11 5:58:59 PM by Darkaros
edited 19th Dec '11 7:35:50 PM by Joaqs