PC Doctor+ Guide 10 Pop-Ups and How To Stop Them

Written By: Steve Latimer


What Are Pop-Ups?

OK. So you’ve been quietly browsing away on the web when suddenly out of nowhere a small window appears advertising some previously unheard of product or service. Welcome to Pop-Ups.

Actually, Pop-Ups can have a useful purpose and are a legitimate programming tool. For example, they are useful for entering sign-on information. Suppose you need to enter a password to get into a web site – its much better and quicker to use a small, supplementary window than to have to wait until a full ‘Password Entry’ screen is loaded. Pop-Ups are also useful for small Java Applets such as those little buttons that allow entry into many chat rooms.

Where do they come from?

For the most part, Pop-Ups are caused by small pieces of Java script which are attached to web pages that you view. Some are timed to appear after a set period as you view a page while others will open a pop-up window underneath the current page and so only become visible when you close the browser window (pop-unders). The main use of Pop-Ups is for intrusive commercial advertising.

There are quite a few software programs that claim to control Pop-Ups – some good and some not so good. There are so many in fact that I don’t want to get embroiled in a program by program comparison. If you want to take a look at a selection and make your own mind up then I would recommend Download. COM Just enter Pop-Ups in the search window and I’m sure you’ll be kept occupied for some time.

For the purpose of this guide I want to concentrate on the method that I personally use to control Pop-Up Ads because I know that if you’re suffering from the little blighters then this approach will lower your stress levels significantly without requiring much effort on your part.

Firstly, we have to consider our old enemy SPYWARE.

Remember the main job of Spyware is to feed back to an organisation your surfing habits i.e. the things you are interested in. The other side of this coin is the forward traffic this produces to you PC which often takes the form of Pop-Up Ads. So you visit a couple of insurance web sites and pretty soon you’re deluged with pop-ups trying to sell you car insurance.

Getting rid of Spyware is therefore stage 1 in a 2-step process and for this I would ask you to read The PC Doctor Guide 3 on Spyware. Our main weapon against Spyware is Spybot Search and Destroy which you can download from the download section of the Arrival site at www.arrival-computers.co.uk or from download.com.

Stage 2 is to install one of my favourite little add-ons the GOOGLE Toolbar.

I like the GOOGLE Toolbar for a number of reasons. Firstly, its FREE an important point as many of the other pop-up stoppers are commercial programs requiring payment. The second reason is because GOOGLE have had the sense to keep it small. As a result it sits unobtrusively under the explorer bar; unlike other similar toolbars which seem to take up so much space.

The GOOGLE toolbar provides a number of genuinely useful extra facilities and it’s well worth reading about them all on the download site. The most useful, however, is undoubtedly the built in pop-up stopper which seems to work a treat. The number of pop-ups that it blocks is displayed as a running total on the toolbar and from this its clearly very effective.

Significantly though, it also includes the option of allowing those useful pop-ups we discussed earlier to get through while less clever utilities insist on blocking everything. By=passing the pop-up stopper is simply a case of holding down the button while you click.

Installation is simple enough. You will need to re-start Internet Explorer to get the Toolbar to appear.

Do read The PC Doctor Guide 3 on Spyware first and run Spybot as recommended before installing the GOOGLE toolbar.

You can download the GOOGLE toolbar from http:/ oolbar.google.com

PC Doctor+ Guides are aimed at users new to computing. They can be downloaded and used as content on web sites provided a link to our own site www.arrival-computers.co.uk is displayed.

About the Author

Steve Latimer is Systems Manager with Arrival Computers (http://www.arrival-computers.co.uk)

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