Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pop Up Blockers - The Low Down

Wanting to know more about those little screens that "pop up" while you're working on the Internet?  Some of these screens, known as pop-ups, are annoying advertisements that may lead you to unsavory sites or that might try and install bad things on your computer.  Other pop-ups, however, are helpful additions to the website you're using.  Pop-ups can appear on top of the screen you have open, or they can open behind the screen you have open (this type may also be referred to as "pop-unders").

Most web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla, have built-in pop-up blockers that are part of the browsing security settings.  The pop-up blockers are intended to help keep your web browsing experience safer and smoother by stopping pop-up screens from opening.  However, the blockers can sometimes stop pop-up screens that we need to use a website properly.  In these cases, you will want to be able to either override the pop-up blocker or adjust the pop-up security settings for the website you're using.  Browser pop-up blockers may also be supplemented with anti-virus software.

Both the Internet Explorer and Mozilla websites have great FAQs pages about pop-ups and how to adjust settings on and override the built-in browser pop-up blockers.  The Mozilla page also has a good section called "Is it a true pop-up window" that discusses why some weird ads and other things that look like pop-ups cannot be blocked by the pop-up blockers.  If you're really wanting to know more about the history and inner-workings of pop-ups, Wikipedia, has an entry about pop-up ads that may tell you more than you want to know!

Image from Wikipedia

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