Stopping Pop-up Advertisments

I have been fairly successful at keeping pop-ups from displaying on my computer. You can as well and here are some tips.

Understand where they come from! Pop-ups come from: 1) web pages that have the advertisement programmed into it, 2) from software that goes out onto the internet and retrieves them, and 3) through security holes in your operating system and internet browser.

Accept some degree of advertisement on the Internet--maybe. Many companies generate income from selling advertisement space on their web pages. If you visit a web page and a pop-up ad shows up every time you open that web page then you have a decision to make. Either 1) the information on that page is so important to me that I will tolerate the pop-up or 2) I will go find a web page that provides me the same information without pop-ups. Here's an example: The Weather Channel is a great place for weather information of all kinds. However, because they are in the business of making money, and their web site is just one way they do this, you can expect pop-up advertisements. I get my weather information directly from the National Weather Service. True, it doesn't have the polished look of The Weather Channel's site but it also doesn't have the pop-ups. I am firmly convinced that I can find anything on the internet I need in a "pop-up free" web site, somewhere. You just have to look and not settle for pop-ups.

Update Windows--REGULARLY. Windows operating systems (Windows98, WindowsME, Windows2000 & WindowsXP) include a feature called Windows Update. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, Windows Update, then look for the link in the middle of the page that says Scan for Updates. Click on it and allow it to search your computer for any updates that may be required and install all Critical Updates and Service Packs.

Configure Internet Explorer. There are some automatic features of Internet Explorer that will allow software to automatically be downloaded and installed to your computer without your knowledge or consent. Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, and double-click Internet Options. Click on the Advanced tab and find and uncheck these 2 entries - Install on Demand (Internet Explorer) and Install on Demand (Other). Microsoft also recommends Disable Active Scripting in Internet Explorer.

Remove software that generates pop-up advertisements. There is a ton of software out there that blocks pop-ups. I don't like it and do not use it. Remove the software that is generating the pop-ups. If you are unsure of what software causes pop-ups, here's a general rule of thumb: If the software was free and downloaded from the internet, then I can almost guarantee that the license agreement for that sofware says that you agree to allow some type of advertisment generating software to be installed on your computer. Let's face it, there's not a bunch of geeks sitting in a dark room programming realy cool software just so they can give it away. They want something in return and what they get is your permission to display pop-up ads almost non-stop on your computer.

Stop Microsoft Services that generate pop-ups. There is a component of Windows XP that advertisement programmers are exploiting called Messenger Service. You can disable it using the instructions found on Microsoft's web page at Disabling Messenger Service in Windows XP.

Norton Anti-Virus 2004 for Windows. The latest version of Norton Anti-Virus, when installed, updated and properly configured will stop spyware threats from both spyware and adware, additional threats such as dialer programs, joke programs, remote access programs and hacking tools as well as the thousands of viruses, worms and trojans that are flooding the internet.

Become one with Add/Remove Programs. In Control Panel, there is an icon for Add/Remove Programs. Opening this Control Panel applet will allow you to see all the software that is installed on your computer. If you don't recognize a particular program, don't automatically assume it is bad and needs to be removed. Also, don't assume that if it is there then it is OK. Investigate the entry and make a conscious decision about keeping and removing the software. One of the first things you should do when you get a new computer is write down the list of programs that are installed from the beginning and keep that list updated. They will be in alphbetical order and if something shows up on the list then you can do some internet research and find out what the program does and whether or not it is safe to remove it.


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