By Eduard Kovacs

Wikipedia representatives warn users that if they see advertisements on the site, their computers are most likely infected with a piece of malware.

“We never run ads on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is funded by more than a million donors, who give an average donation of less than 30 dollars,” Philippe Beaudette, director of community advocacy, wrote.
“We run fundraising appeals, usually at the end of the year. If you’re seeing advertisements for a for-profit industry or anything but our fundraiser, then your web browser has likely been infected with malware.”

Most of these malicious elements pose as harmless-looking browser extensions, but in reality, they’re designed to inject ads into the user’s browsing sessions.
Depending on the extension, it can be programmed to make advertisements appear only on certain websites, such as Wikipedia.

If this is the case, the web browser’s extensions must be verified and the ones that look shady or useless must be disabled. Also, the computer must be checked for any sign of malware that may be making itself cozy on the affected system.

Another reason for which these promotions may appear on the encyclopedia site is because the Internet service provider may be pushing them, a situation in which there’s not much you can do about it.
Internet users are advised to install at least a basic antivirus solution to protect them from potential threats. In some situations, these advertisements aren’t designed only to earn money for the spammers, but they can also serve Trojans and other nasty elements.

Whichever the case may be, Wikipedia assures its customers that advertisements will never be displayed on the site.

“We’re here to distribute the sum of human knowledge to everyone on the planet — ad-free, forever,” Beaudette concludes.

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