MYTH BUSTED: All Malware Comes From Porn

May 17th · 2 min read

Among the most common advice for avoiding computer viruses is to stay away from adult websites. But, is there any truth to that?

It’s no secret that porn is popular online. At the time of this writing, Similarweb reports that four of the world’s 20 most visited websites are dedicated to porn, two of which outrank Wikipedia and Amazon. In 2019, there were 42 billion visits to Pornhub, which comes to an average of 115 million visits per day. That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Canada, Australia, Poland, and the Netherlands all visiting in one day. That isn’t even the most popular porn website listed!

Do Pornographic Websites Give Users Malware?

Absolutely not. Not the legitimate porn websites, at least. Owners of these websites and their models make money from views and advertising. Viruses, trojans, and other malware would cause viewers and customers to look elsewhere. That just isn’t good for business at all.

But what about that sketchy popup?

When it comes to porn, cybercriminals use the same techniques they use everywhere else on the web to carry out their attacks. They certainly aren’t ones to pass up a good opportunity to make a buck and find ways to sneak in where they can.

They create malicious porn websites intended to defraud or infect visitors. These sites, however, tend to be small-scale and not very well-known. Or, they’re created to appear similar to the popular porn websites so victims don’t realize they’re not on the site they intended to visit. Once there, victims may be asked to download videos which unbeknownst to them, include malware attachments. Or, they may be asked to sign up for the website and verify their age by providing a credit card number or scanned image of their identification. This successfully phished information is then sent over to the scammer to sell for profit or to commit identity theft.

How can I avoid malicious porn websites?

The dangers you might encounter while watching porn are the same as the dangers you’d encounter elsewhere online. The main difference is that you might be reluctant to ask a buddy for another opinion if something sounds scammy. Here are ways you can avoid malware and scams on adult websites.

1. Use protection

Browser protection, that is. Browser protection tools like Guardio allow you to visit legitimate websites, while blocking those that contain malware, scams, and other threats right from your browser.

2. Don’t click on suspicious links.

Stick with the big-name, trusted websites to ensure that you’re on a website created by an actual business and not a scammer. Avoid being tempted by any banner ads you may see on legitimate websites that draw you to another site.

3. Avoid providing information that isn’t necessary.

Unless you’re paying for premium content, porn websites don’t need your credit card information and they certainly don’t need your personal details or identification. If you’re asked for these things, chances are that you’re dealing with a malicious porn website and not one that is legitimate.

Clean up your browser and prevent future scams

Protect yourself from identity theft & other scams, begin with a free scan.

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