Avoiding Pop Up Windows
By Joshua Erdman
Digital Foundation, inc.
Pop Up Windows are another annoyance on the Internet. For dial-up users these ads can really slow an Internet
connection down and some of the ads are disgusting. Fortunately pop up ads are easier to block than most people suspect. A
pop up is usually generated in 3 ways:
- Programming code can be built in to the website that you were viewing instructing your web browser to generate a pop up
window with an ad. Typically free, informational websites will use the money they get from displaying pop up ads to fund
their website. Technically these are legit pop-ups. Use a pop-up blocker to avoid these. Read our article on
Windows for more information.
- A program running on your computer could be periodically popping ads on your screen. This is an invasive
program that we term "malware" (Malicious Software). Not only do malware programs intrude by pop up ads, they also watch what web
pages your browse and send the statistics to be analyzed. Spyware programs can be considered a trojan horse in that they
are usually piggy backed on another software package that was installed. The most popular software packages that include
spyware are KaZaa, hotbar, and IncrediMail. Refer to our MalWare Prevention article
for more information.
- Built in to Windows 2000 and XP is a messenger service that allows a "message" to be sent to your computer and
displayed on your screen. This is caused by a computer being connected to the Internet without a firewall or other
protection software to prevent system intrusion. These messages are not an intrusion but this is a good indication that
your systems are vulnerable to attack. - Turn off the message service or use a firewall to stop these. Refer to our
guide on stopping the messenger service for more information.
If your computer gets pop-up windows even when you are not actively browsing the Internet, your computer has been hijacked
by MalWare and you need to read our article on
AdAware - Spyware Removal Tool
Google Toolbar - Pop-Up Window Blocker
Article last reviewed: 03/21/2005
Created by: Digital Foundation,
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