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Google plans to block heavy ads that drain resources in Chrome

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Google developers are planning to move in response to an increase in the number of ads and websites earlier detected around 2007 using the cover of adverts to maliciously mine cryptocurrency, drain bandwidths, and even electricity from user’s computers.

Google has announced that starting from August 2020; it plans to project chrome users from exploitations by blocking resource-draining ads from being displayed to chrome users, thereby averting potential undetected resource trapping by these malicious ads promoters.

Additionally, Google developers have designed a feature capable of barring maliciously-heavy ads from secretly executing exploitative moves like mining Bitcoin from user’s computers when it displays various advertising contents through Chrome usage. Though similar blocking started since 2018 when Google developers blocked off a series of ads that did not adhere to its “Better Ad” standard put up by the coalition for better adverts which Google belongs to.

Marshall Vale, Chrome’s project manager stated that though the exploitive ads appear to be low in percentage reported to be 0.3 percent, they still amount to about 27 percent of network data consumption and 28 percent of CPU usage. He continued “we have recently discovered that a fraction of a percent of ads consumes a disproportionate share of device resources, like network data and battery life without users’ knowledge. Vale concluded by saying  “These ads due to their nature of being poorly developed and ineffectively programmed for network usage ends up draining battery life and in the process strain network”.

One of the methods Google developers are using to deal with this problem is by limiting ad display interaction with users and once the limit is used up, the ad display will redirect to an error page that informing the user that the ad has consumed excess resources.

Ads threshold to be blocked by Chromes are those that consume up to 4MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in half a minute. Google has reinstated that it will continue to make sure ads are presented to its users safely and securely with an emphasis on how ads impact performance.

If you cannot wait till August 2020, you can start blocking these resource-draining ads yourself by downloading and enabling the “Heavy Ad intervention” released by Google for Chrome 80 version. You can upgrade your current Chrome to V.80 if you don’t have it already.

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Amaya Paucek

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