Fake Error Messages


We have all seen them, but have you been fooled by them?

Example Banner Ad

What are they?

Most every website that you visit includes some sort of banner advertisements. That's how the website is able to make money to pay for its expenses. For the most part these banner ads show pictures and text that describe the website they are advertising, but a new crop of ads have come about.

These (like the example shown above) look like a message that your Windows computer would create. The attempt is for you to think they are an actual Windows message so you will click on them. Because once you click on a banner ad someone gets paid for the click.

Where do they come from?

Some banner ad companies employ these types of ads, some specific websites might also create their own for this purpose as well. They never actually come from your computer.


Banner Ads are only effective if you click on them, so creating ones that get you to click on them are the best bet for banner ad creators.

How can I tell for sure?

Sometimes its very easy to tell that it is an advertisement by the text that is on them. Such as "Click Here to win $500!", would never be a Windows error message.

To tell for sure though, simply move your mouse over top of the message. If the mouse cursor changes from an arrow to a hand-type cursor then it is a link on the web page and not an actual Windows message. If the arrow stays an arrow, then its a good bet that it is an actual Windows generated error or message.

Try this now by moving your mouse cursor over top of the example above - the cursor will change into a hand meaning that it is simply a link on the website.