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Spotify is Available for Free, but at What Expense?

Earlier this month, Spotify dropped the ball with its free customers in a way that didn’t involve Taylor Swift, but certainly was “Trouble” for cybersecurity.

Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, just suffered a major security crisis. A staggering number of music lovers reported that the freemium streaming service was allowing malware-infested ads to reach its users. Reports posted to Spotify’s company forum stated that running Spotify Free on a desktop was causing browsers to open malicious websites without approval from users.

The problem initially came to the attention of the company after Spotify subscribers took to Twitter to report on suspicious behavior happening on laptops and computers while the streaming service was open on browsers, citing that the service’s ads were filled with links to malware. Others reported that the infected ads opened at regular and frequent intervals without the user’s input. While it was initially believed to be a problem endemic only to Windows 10, it appears that Spotify’s malware woes extended to computers running on Ubuntu and MacOS as well.

Read More: How Frequently Should You Change Your Passwords?

As surprising and discomforting as this news may be to subscribers of the popular streaming service, Spotify has actually dealt with similar problems in the past. In 2011, the company experienced the exact same issue, with customers complaining that advertisements were opening and running malware on their computers. Spotify went on to swiftly resolve the issue, but not before issuing a public apology to those affected by the incident.

As of October 6th, Spotify employees tracked the source of the malware down to a single advertisement, which, according to Spotify representatives, has been removed and is no longer a security risk to free Spotify subscribers. Still, even with the problem identified and seemingly solved, this is far from reassuring news, given that of the service’s 100 million users across the globe, about 60% of them subscribe to the free tier.

While this most recent security gaffe has since been fixed by the Spotify development team, and they are currently monitoring activity on the free edition of Spotify in the event that any issues persist, it’s understandable for some to want to take extra precautions to ensure their safety, privacy, and well-being online. If you’re willing to sink a few dollars into your music service a month, upgrading to the ad-free Spotify service would prevent you from receiving unwanted and potentially dangerous advertising from them in the future. However, there are effective steps you can take to remain safe if you do decide to keep the free Spotify service.

If you elect to keep the free version of Spotify, the easiest way to prevent any future malicious ads from infiltrating your devices is to download PSafe Total and PSafe Total Windows. PSafe Total’s antivirus software scans your device 24/7 to detect and remove threats. With the app installed, you can carefreely listen to the free version of Spotify, knowing that PSafe will immediately detect any dangerous ads or threats. As an added bonus, PSafe Total will also optimize your computer or phone’s speed so that Spotify songs don’t lag!