Blocking Popups

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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It's easy to hop online only to find yourself spending more time blocking popups than anything else. Popups are fast replacing spam as the bane of web users' existence. A lot of serious internet users and emailers have taken measures to weed out annoying spam. It makes one wonder why they haven't taken similar steps to cut down on popup ads.

Many people naively assume that nothing can be done to stop popups. Instead, they see the hassle as one cost of doing business, especially when surfing high-traffic portals. Just about every major leader in its respective space allows popup ads to poke through, leading surfers to believe that these ads are entitled to break through. After all, how many thousands and thousands of dollars have these advertisers spent on such campaigns?

The Truth about Blocking Popups

The reality, however, is that blocking popups is no different from changing the channel on your TV or the station on your radio. Do you passively sit by and listen to pestering radio spots simply because the advertisers have paid to put them on the air? Have you never changed from one television program to another over an annoying car or furniture ad? The same psychology holds for blocking popups, only the means used to quiet these nagging voices are somewhat different.

By installing popup software on your PC, you can catch these advertisements before they materialize in your browser. These programs target advertising networks--sometimes up to several thousand of them at once--and pre-emptively stop them from deploying their pesky messages to your machine. The best systems spot the most common places where holes may occur, such as Windows Messenger and IM, then tighten their restrictions to keep ads from burrowing through.

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