Are there any new tools to fight those irritating pop-ups that seem to be everywhere? It's getting bad enough that I avoid using the Internet as much as possible. HELP!
This question was answered on May 14, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
Few things in today's Internet experience are as irritating as the overuse of pop-up ads Along with Spam and e-mail viruses, they seem to be coming from every direction.
Not only are they irritating, they actually chew up valuable bandwidth causing computers to become useless as numerous windows are being generated with all of the processing power In some cases, they can actually cause a computer to 'crash' from the overuse of available resources.
The primary tools used to attack us are scripting languages, such as Java, that run as we access certain web pages If you tell your browser to disable all active scripting, all pop-ups become disabled The trade-off is that so are many desired options on web sites you want, such as navigation, mouse-overs, and dynamic HTML.
If you want to take this radical approach, in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer go to the Tools menu, then choose Internet Options and then click on the Security tab Next, click on the 'Custom Levels' button and scroll to the bottom of the list and disable Active Scripting under the 'Scripting' heading.
If you want a less obtrusive solution, pop-up 'killers', which are programs designed to help control the problem are plentiful You've likely seen pop-up ads and Spam messages touting the cure for a measly $29.95, but I have a better solution.
Several 'freeware' programs are available that do a fine job and one of my (current) favorites is a program called EMS Free Surfer mk II.
Not only is this program free, it works as well as anything that I have seen that costs money Unlike older pop-up killers, you don't have to receive a pop-up at least once in order for the program to know to block it in the future.
Free Surfer uses a special engine similar to virus programs to know ahead of time about many of the obtrusive pop-up ads already in existence By default the program starts in 'Natural' mode, which is fine for most casual surfers.
Heavy Internet users may want to configure it for '‘Strict' mode which will not allow more than one browser window to be open unless you click on a link while holding down either the Ctrl or Shift key.
Whenever Free Surfer blocks a pop-up a sound it generated and an entry is submitted to the log file This log file is very helpful in figuring out which web sites are bombarding you with pop-ups.
So the real test is to see if Free Surfer can deal with the bottom-feeders of the Internetâ€¦porn, credit and sexual enhancement sites These types of sites are notorious for launching multiple new browser windows when you try to close them In my tests, Free Surfer worked flawlessly and notified me every time that it was doing its good work!
If you want to give this great program a try, <a href="http://emsproject.com/FS/Download.htm"emsproject.com/FS/Download.htm" target="_blank">visit the author’s web site here! </a>
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on May 14, 2003
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