Block web advertising


Today, Internet advertising is booming. Banner ads, the most common type of web advertising, are often found at the top of a web page.

Block web advertising

Block web advertising

Skyscraper ads are large, vertical ads that typically reside on the right side of a web page. They often contain more information than banner ads and use motion to visually enhance their emotional appeal and interactivity.

The most common objection to these ads is that they slow download times. To avoid them, use software programs that filter out banner ads or simply turn off graphics in your browser. Here’s how.

  • In Internet Explorer 6.0, click on “Tools > Internet Options > Advanced,” and then clear the check box next to “Show Pictures” (under “Multimedia”).
  • In Netscape Navigator 6.1, click on “Edit > Preferences > Advanced,” then deselect “Automatically Load Images.”

Contextual advertising

Contextual advertising highlights words within the text of a web page and turns them into links to the advertiser’s website. They work with specific software programs like TopText, SurfPlus and AdPointer. Remove these programs from your PC with the “Add/Remove Programs” feature on the Control Panel to avoid these ads.

E-mail, pop-up, pop-under and out-of-banner ads

Unsolicited ads that come via e-mail are known as “spam.” Learn how to block spam by reading How to prevent spam.

Pop-up ads have evolved into an underhanded, aggressive form of advertising. When a web page is loaded, a new, smaller ad window without menus or scroll bars “pops up” on the screen.

Pop-ups noticeably increase download time and require extra mouse clicks to be removed. Many users close the window before the ad finishes loading, which has led to pop-under ads, which launch beneath the window in view. This allows the full content of the ad to load without you being aware of it.

Out-of-banner ads appear when a web page is first loaded, hovering over the text for about 10 seconds before retiring to a more traditional banner ad location.

Some browsers offer a pop-up blocker feature in the “Preferences” or “Tools” menu. This will prevent any pop-ups from launching, but may also affect the functionality of some websites. Various programs disable these sorts of advertisements, including Pop-Up Stopper.®

Service Pack 2 of Windows XP offers improved security and a safer web experience with built-in firewall and pop-up blocker features. Learn more by reading Protect your HP PC: firewalls.

Cookies and web bugs

Advertisers frequently use cookies to track your Internet surfing habits. If you are concerned about your privacy, you can turn off automatic cookie acceptance in your browser.

  • In Internet Explorer 6, open “Internet Options” from the “Tools” menu and click on the “Security” tab.
  • Netscape Communicator 6.1 features an advanced “Cookie Manager” that allows you to view cookies before accepting them.

Web bugs are a new threat to privacy on the Internet. Web bugs are small files, usually in the form of a graphic, that go undetected. They collect information such as the computer's Internet protocol address, the time web pages are viewed and previously set cookie values (which might contain personal information). Privacy Watchdog groups are currently working to establish guidelines for the use of web bugs on the Internet.

Opt-in advertising

Opt-in advertising is e-mail explicitly requested by you (i.e., signing up for a company’s e-mail newsletter). Opt-in e-mail marketing is the smart way for advertisers to reach customers, increase traffic and save on advertising costs. Not everyone wants to avoid advertisements, especially when you can earn freebies for just looking at them.

There are many benefits and drawbacks to online advertising. Protecting your identity and information on your PC is important as you decide which online advertisements to access.

  1. *Wireless access point required for wireless connectivity and is not included. Internet use requires separately purchased Internet service contract. Media service subscriptions may be required. Certain Windows Vista product features require advanced or additional hardware.
  1. Services subject to change without notice. Not all services may be available at time of product launch.