To Pop or Not to Pop? Here’s Your Guide to Blocking Options

To Pop or Not to Pop? Here’s Your Guide to Blocking Options

Ironically, the most intrusive pop-ups these days are privacy notices and asks for permission

 It used to be a lot worse. The internet of the early 2000s was a constant smack in the face of pop-up ads that often had nothing to do with the website you were visiting. Plus, they slowed down your internet speed and made browsing a chore. Today there are fewer out-of-the-blue pop-ups but ironically, pretty much every website now has an annoying cookie banner or a pop-up that sometimes takes up half the screen! These banners or pop-ups ask for your consent to the site using cookies. Or they sometimes ask you for permission to send notifications directly to your browser. Other times it’s a message wondering if you’d be interested in a newsletter or subscription, asking to know your location, or perhaps giving you a sales pitch about some product. It doesn’t really matter if they’re asking for permission or trying to sell you something, for most of us, pop-ups are simply annoying.

Happily, you don’t have to put up with them. There are options for blocking pop-ups and specifically, ways to block pops up on Chrome, the Google browser that is still top dog despite strong efforts from Safari and Mozilla to dislodge it. No matter what platform you’re using, from Microsoft’s Edge to the created-in-China Opera, there are easily-installed browser extensions that block cookie notices – but you need to make sure that the extension you’re using doesn’t automatically accept all cookies on every website you visit. You do want to be notified if a site is trying to download a file onto your computer, for example. What you want – in short – is control, and it’s available via a simple download.

Native Pop-Up Blockers are Usually Good, But Not Perfect

Many Chrome users will be familiar with Chrome’s native poper blocker. If you haven’t set it up yet you can go to the three dots on the top right hand of your page, select settings and when a new window opens, click security and privacy in the left-hand menu. Scroll down and click on pop-ups and redirects. Setting that up is a must, but the Chrome poper blocker sometimes isn’t enough. All native blockers don’t offer as much control as a well-designed pop-up blocker extension. If you’ve noticed an increase in pop-ups during recent web activity, it’s very possible you may have unwittingly downloaded malware – some of which can be accidentally downloaded with a mistaken click.

Every computer user should clean up their computer from time to time; empty the garbage and check the status of your drives. It’s easy to do but is often neglected until people notice that something feels ‘off.’ All you need to do is again open Chrome and select the three dots in the top right-hand corner before going to settings and hitting advanced. From there you can select reset and clean up and then follow that up by clicking on the cleanup computer. Chrome will automatically go through the software and programs you’ve installed and you’ll be given a list so you can pick out any unwanted programs. Cleaning your computer – both outside and inside – Is a good idea to do at least every couple of months as we all tend to download things that we don’t need and, even if it’s not malicious, getting rid of it will free up space and keep your computer moving speedily.

Installing an Extension Pop-Up Blocker Gives You More Choices

Privacy laws have required websites of all kinds to display consent forms and usually, it’s a narrow banner that says something like “We use cookies, are you cool with that?” You can then click the, “Okay, I understand” button and all’s good. But some websites have decided to use these consent forms as another way to advertise and they take up half your screen for no good reason. A pop-up blocker extension shows you how many pop-ups it has blocked and allows you to review your settings and make sure you are really “okay” with cookies from a website and you didn’t just click “yes” because you were irritated by their banner.

Pop-up blockers also relegate the notice for allowing or denying to a small icon or a small box rather than these ridiculously large consent forms used by too many websites these days. It’s a tactic that isn’t talked about very often but by making these banners or pop-ups as intrusive as possible, the website is hoping that you quickly click yes to clear the screen. This could lead to you accepting dangerous cookies just in a bid to not have your web experience interrupted. It’s therefore more than a good idea to consider adding a pop-up blocker extension that helps fortify the native one used by Chrome or whatever browser you use.

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