Not only is Windows by far the most popular desktop and laptop operating system among home users, it’s the most popular target for crooks attempting to distribute malware through malicious advertising. Malicious ad campaigns are ads designed to look like regular advertising that lures you to malicious sites or tricks you into downloading unwanted apps and programs.


According to a study by the security experts at Devcon,  nearly 61% of these fake ads are targeted at Windows users. Not surprising since Windows is the most popular desktop operating system found on about 87% of desktops and laptops.

Chrome OS, found on Chromebooks, was the second most popular target, despite being found on just about 1% of overall devices. Twenty-two percent of targets went after this operating system. While not hugely popular in work and home environments, Chromebooks are big business in schools where they account for about 60% of devices used in schools.

Macs came in third. Targeted by about 10% of malicious ad campaigns. The least-targeted OS is Linus, with less than 1% of malicious ads aimed at that operating system. Linux is running on about 1.5% of desktop and laptop devices in the U.S.

No matter what devices you use, always follow good Internet safety practices. Keep your device updated, install security software, and be very, very careful where you click.

Parents and teachers, make sure to educate kids about the kinds of threats targeting their devices.