Pop-ups can be annoying, but they can also seriously hamper a computer’s performance. Not only Web sites, but also some spyware applications may generate pop-ups. These pop-ups deliver advertisements based on the user’s recent behavior on the Internet. Some pop-ups are designed to collect users’ email addresses.
Pop-up blockers exist as both standalone and browser-based applications to prevent pop-ups from displaying. Most browsers nowadays, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera, have pop-up blocking functionality built in.
It is important to keep in mind that many legitimate Web sites use pop-ups, as well. If you set pop-up blockers to stop all pop-ups, you may impede the full functionality of such Web sites. For example, many Web sites that use forms or input fields to sign-up users for various offerings provide these forms or fields as a pop-up.
Fortunately, most browsers now can be customized to allow pop-ups from individual sites or even individual pop-ups you specify. The browser indicates to the user that it has blocked a pop-up, and the user can then choose to allow it. If the user does nothing, the pop-up continues to be blocked.
Other applications that block pop-ups are Google Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar and NoAds. These can be configured as plug-ins into the user’s browser, or run as a standalone desktop application that blocks pop-ups while permitting the user to allow specific pop-ups.
- EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) - This Web site has a vast repository of security and privacy tools.