this is an ad... pretty easy to spot.

While browsing around the internet, inevitably you will be faced with an ad. They come in all shapes and sizes, but traditionally will be in a long horizontal rectangle on the top of a page, a long vertical rectangle on the side of the page, or a random box in various places.

These are all called “display ads”…because companies pay big time bucks just to have their ad displayed to you, their potential customers. Think of it like an online billboard – whether you do anything with the ad they still need to pay.

However, not all ads are quite so easy to spot, especially once you get to websites that are off the beaten track. A lot of ads are designed to trick you into giving away personally private information, or downloading a piece of spyware or virus.

So, generally speaking, you should avoid clicking on ads unless you are 100% sure of where the link is taking you…and real world rules apply too: no such thing as a free lunch, no such thing as a free credit report, and definitely no such thing as a free laptop.

We’re going to learn how to identify whether something is part of a website or if its an ad. Now please keep in mind this isn’t a perfect science, but it will help with 90% of the situations you’ll run into.

Hopefully we are all familiar with the mouse pointer¬†pointer and the mouse hand hand.¬† The difference between the two is the most important thing here: whenever you’re about to follow a link, the pointer changes into the hand.

It’s as simple as watching your mouse cursor while you’re scrolling across towards the ad. You can use the mouse hand to find the edges of a potential ad. If it seems like there is an invisible box around any of the buttons, then BE CAREFUL before clicking!