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Q: POP UP ADS ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: POP UP ADS
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: fwscholl-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2004 09:27 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2004 09:27 PDT
Question ID: 400557
I would like an explanation of how pop up ads get onto your computer. 
I am a tech person, but not a programmer.  The information will be
used to help end users understand what precautions they should use to
eliminate popups.
Subject: Re: POP UP ADS
Answered By: sweetblue44-ga on 14 Sep 2004 12:25 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for using the Google Answers system.

For your question, I will provide the folliwing information:

1. What is a pop-up
2. How pop ups are made
3. Beneficial and Malicious use of pop-ups
4. Programs that cause unnecessary/unwanted pop ups
5. How to block/stop/avoid popups

1. There are a few types of pop up ads that appear on your computer.
Pop ups have been around since the late 90s and usually appeared in
lieu of banner advertisements on a webpage. Banner advertisements
usually detract from a page as they are intertwined between the
material you are actually trying to view. Pop ups "moved" advertising
space to a new window, thus opening up real estate or simply providing
more real estate for advertisements in this new browser window.

2. Pop up windows are simply a few lines of code that cause your
browser to open up a new window and immidiately navigate that window
to an advertising or informational site. The following link will take
you to a page that allows you to make your own pop ups by generating
code in an effort to understand how they work:

Another page where you can view this code yourself is here:

For more detailed information, a seller's website offers both
introductory and advanced material on how to create pop-ups for
marketing purposes.

3. Allow to say that not all pop-up windows are malicious
advertisements. Some e-commerce sites or company websites employ
pop-up windows to gather information, or display product information
in a seperate window so that you do not have to navigate away from an
important page. Many times when such an e-commerce or corporate
website employs pop up windows, a disclaimer will be written near the
link, stating something such as "clicking this link will result in a
pop-up window."

Other pop up windows may contain code that opens another pop-up
window, and this might cause a flurry of windows to suddenly open.
Pagewriters may employ such tactics when their advertisers pay
"per-click," thus, when you fall victim to many windows opening up,
the pagewriter is possibly earning money from your frustration.

There are yet other pop up windows which cause a replacement window to
appear when you close them. Such windows also may fill the
unscrupulous pagewriter's coffers when you visit such pages. Most
"upstanding" pages written for major company sites or legit e-commerce
sites will not employ such tactics. Pages that should be avoided that
may employ such runaway pop-up tactics include those that pertain to
illicit software exchanges, pornographic sites, and
music/movie/filesharing sites.

4. Pop-up windows may also randomly appear while your computer is
running. These windows attempt to "guess" your on-line desires at
times based on your browsing habits. They are triggered by a small
program or browser plug-in running in the background when you use the
internet. Microsoft's IE browser, due to its widespread use, is
especially vulnerable to such programs due to the large number of
programmers attempting to exploit its vulnerabilities. In addition,
some sites may install "search bars" or other assistants that you can
see running in your browser windows. Such programs also attempt to
guide you to certain sites based on your browsing habits. When
visiting unnkown sites, if a window appears stating something to the
extent of "Please click YES to continue," or a window asking "to
install (insert name here) browser plug-in to view this page" then it
is a good indication software is being installed that you may not

5. Finally, I will talk about avoiding and removing pop-ups if so
desired. The first step if you are using a Microsoft Windows platform
is to keep Windows as up-to-date as possible using:

Microsoft attempts to "fill in" vulnerabilities security breaches that
advertisers may exploit. Microsoft's new SP2 (Service Pack 2) update
to Windows XP provides many security enhancements as well as a
built-in pop-up blocker. Find information about this update's blocking
capabilities here:

Google has its own toolbar system that allows for convenient searching
using all of Google's features as well as a pop up blocker available
at this link:

If you are unfortunate enough to have a program running that causes
pop-ups to appear, please find an advertising removal utility here; it
is called Ad-Aware:

Another removal utility which I actually prefer can be found here, it
is called SpyBot:

Beware that certain programs such a file-sharing programs or certain
internet "search bars" (such as will be removed/disabled
if you remove the spyware components.

Most "legit" sites on the internet attempt to curtain their use of
annoying pop-ups, avoiding sites that allow music download or illicit
filesharing will go a long way to avoiding browser "hijackings" or
verbose pop-ups.

I hope that this answers your question, I had a good time writing it,
as I run a small computer consulting site in which this is one of our
services. Please feel free to ask for clarifications and additional
information, I am more than willing to provide any other material
pertaining to this topic. Thank you again for using Google Answers!

fwscholl-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very complete answer

Subject: Re: POP UP ADS
From: livioflores-ga on 13 Sep 2004 22:57 PDT

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