By Taylor Swyers


When visiting a website, it’s hard to miss the little box that pops up asking you to allow or block notifications. They can be annoying, so you might quickly click on them and not think about what you are agreeing to. This can be dangerous. These alerts are called “push notifications” or “browser notifications.”


So, what are they, and what do they mean?


What happens if I click yes?

If you allow these notifications, the website will send notifications of any new content to a browser even when you are not using the particular site. This seems only helpful if you want updates; even then, receiving your updates through browser notifications is not necessarily safe.


Why should I click no?

The safest option would be to click no or not enable push notifications on a website. Cybercriminals can easily hack into these browsers and gain personal information, create viruses on your device, and redirect you to pages that steal or track your information. Cybercriminals stealing information through browser notifications have been a common occurrence lately. Clicking no ensures that these malicious cybercriminals will not have access to your information or ransacking your device.


Be aware of approval requests.

Usually, the little push notification box you see will only ask for approval once. Do not be fooled by other approval requests. Malicious notification approval prompts can be disguised in several different ways:

  • Fake anti-virus message
  • Fake video error
  • Fake “verify you are not a robot” scam
  • Dispense unwanted advertisements
  • Redirect to malicious websites


How do I protect myself?

You can install Google Chrome 84 as your browser, which sends push notifications when it detects something suspicious. Chrome 84 also has anti-virus vendors that can protect you from anything being downloaded on your device. You should also limit notifications on your device, always click no to the push notifications, and be highly cautious when answering browser questions. This is the simplest way to save you from cybercriminals- just click no!


If the budget allows, you should also contract an IT security company to ensure your business and employees are covered.


Finally, make sure your company has appropriate cyber insurance coverage. Need a hand? Contact TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate today.