Keep your desktop pop-up free


You can hardly surf the Web nowadays without a cascade of pop-up advertisements filling your desktop. With flashy graphics and promises of hot deals, these intrusive ads attempt to lure us into a click—but more often than not only annoy and distract us from our real purpose online. If you’ve had it with pop-up ads and their trespassing on your privacy, here are a few tricks to eliminating them.

Pop-up blocker programs

Pop-up blocker programs

If you just might scream the next time you see a pop-up ad, you may want to try a pop-up blocker. These programs are usually free and easy to use. First, check with your internet service provider (ISP) to see if they make one available to their customers. If not, visit your favorite download site or search the Web.

The newest generation of pop-up blocking software allows you to choose the level of filtering you want. With some, you can select which pop-ups you want displayed and build a blacklist of those you don't. You can even import blacklists from other users.

The strongest filters block other forms of Web advertising, such as banner ads, and offer protection from intrusive "spyware" downloads used to track visitors. Such extensive filtering can slow down your browsing, but your privacy may be well-worth the cost.

A simple tweak

Disabling scripts to block pop-ups

You can also beat pop-up advertising with a simple tweak to your Web browser’s preferences. Pop-up windows are triggered by computer scripts embedded in the Web page code. By disabling these scripts, you keep your browser from displaying the ads.

However, many websites use these scripts for purposes other than pop-up ads. Disabling scripts may hamper your ability to view or use some websites correctly. If you’re having trouble with an online tool or game, you can always turn scripting back on.

To disable scripts in Internet Explorer for Windows®
1. Select “Tools” > “Internet Options” from the menu bar.
2. Choose the “Security” tab, and click the “Custom Level” button.
3. Scroll down until you see “Active Scripting” and select the “Disable” radio button.
4. Click “OK” twice.

In Internet Explorer for Apple Mac OS X
1. Select “Explorer” > “Preferences” from the menu bar.
2. On the left menu, click on “Web Content.”
3. Under “Active Content” on the right, uncheck the box next to “Enable Scripting.”
4. Click “OK.”

In Netscape Navigator for Windows® and Macintosh
1. Select “Edit” > “Preferences” from the menu bar.
2. On the left menu, click on “Advanced.”
3. On the right, uncheck the box marked “Enable JavaScript.”
4. Click “OK.”