Read these 7 Pop Up Blockers Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Internet Safety tips and hundreds of other topics.
Although some internet service providers have curtailed the use of pop-ups due to consumer outrage, it hasn't curbed demand from direct marketers. Some advertisers have built businesses around blanketing the Web with promotional windows and driving clicks. That demand is still extremely high among direct marketers, because pop-ups and pop-unders are among the most effective ads on the Internet, garnering click rates two to 10 times higher than standard banners, in some cases. So just because some ISPs are sensitive to consumer outrage does not mean you shouldn't have good pop-up blocker software.
Pop-ups have played a controversial role in the world of online advertising since the dot-com bust, when the ads started coming out in force. At the time, Net publishers of all stripes were starved for ad revenue and willing to let advertisers get in their visitors' faces. Consumers complained loudly, and pop-up blocker internet filter software was written to intercept pop-ups. Publishers slightly acquiesced by introducing the less-intrusive pop-under, which springs up behind a Web page. Eventually, the backlash forced major publishers, such as Yahoo, MSN and America Online, to rethink their pop policies altogether. In the last year, many top-tier publishers have stopped selling pop-ups or pop-unders. Meanwhile, smaller publishers have chosen to limit the frequency with which they show the ads.
In recent months, the most obnoxious pop ups of all have started to appear on computer users' screens: popups that aren't connected to a browser, appear even when you're not surfing the Web, and show up in a text-message window for no apparent reason. You've taken no conceivable action that could have caused them to appear, such as visiting a web site. Your popup blocker is running. And yet there they are. These text pop ups use XP's Messenger service, which was designed for sending notifications over internal local area networks. The Messenger service is not related to Windows Messenger, Microsoft's instant-messaging program. To kill these pop ups, disable the Messenger service. Run the Services Microsoft Management Console by typing services.msc at a command prompt or the Run box and pressing Enter. Double-click on the entry for Messenger, choose Disabled as the Startup type from the screen that appears, and click OK. Pop ups will no longer get through. Unfortunately, neither will any network messages from administrators if you're on a LAN.
A Hosts file is one way to help prevent pop-ups and keep your computer security from being breached. The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any servers. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is it's ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, as long the entry exists.
Popup blockers are becoming a favorite way to get on people's good side. If you are using Internet Explorer version 5.5 or above, you can now install the Google toolbar. As well as providing access to simple and advanced Google search options direct from your browser, it also contains its own pop-up blocker. Other web browsers like Mozilla and Opera also contain options for controlling pop-ups.
More than 95% of web surfers use Internet Explorer, which contains popup blocker capability. Unfortunately, it usually is turned off by default, and most users don't change the settings on their web browsers. Take the time to look in the help files on your browser, find out if it has pop-up blocker tools, and turn them on.
Not all pop-ups come from clicking on a web page. That's right ... many parasites, adware enabled software downloads and P2P files will create pop-ups. They do this for various reasons including trying to entice you into purchasing some other type software such pop-up blockers, internet filters, internet filters, or "IE cleaners". They can also pass sensitive information from your computer to a third party without your knowledge. A good firewall can prevent this information from leaving your computer.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|