Benedicte Guichard| Tue Jun 21 2016 CET| Live pay-per-view
As you may have gathered, live streaming is more popular than ever, and it has a long and prosperous future ahead. A lot of viewers still accept the quality deficiency and favor the free live streams as a method to watch their favorite events, games or leagues. But besides quality, there is a bigger, underlying issue.
Not only are there a seemingly endless amount of sporting events, festivals, gatherings and concerts happening nearly every day of the year, we also have the access, freedom and flexibility to be a part of them without even having to attend in person. When you think about, it’s no wonder live streaming is so popular.
However, with anything sought after by the masses, there are inevitably going to be problems, and when it comes to live streaming, the major issue is malicious advertising.
Did you know that 50% of ads on free live streaming websites are in fact malicious? That’s a fairly alarming figure, to say the least, especially when one’s privacy, software and hardware are concerned.
According to the study carried out by both Belgian and American researchers, many sites (of the 23,000 tested) infringe on copyrights and trademarks and many videos contain overlay advertisements. About 50% of these intrusive ads direct users to websites serving malware.
According to head researcher Zubair Rafique, “Chrome and Safari can be more easily abused for this than other browsers. This is likely because attackers focus on the most popular browsers.”
Of course, when people use a free live stream, many of them are aware that they may be doing so without the permission of the content owner; however, not everyone knows quite how big a risk they are running regarding fraud, identity theft and potentially harmful viruses. Not only this but being bombarded with ads is disruptive, distracting and takes away from the overall user experience.
Due to the increasing threat of these types of malicious and deceptive ads, researchers have developed a tool that (among other things) can be used to warn visitors of potentially dangerous websites. The tool also helps security analysts pick up unknown pages that offer free live streaming services and subsequently combat infringements on copyrights and trademarks.
The wonderful world of live streaming is booming and with more content available than ever, you can more or less watch anything, anytime, anywhere – but beware: the risk in using free live streams often outweighs the money savings.
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