The Pop-up Blocker
The ad banners at the top of every Web page are annoying enough—but nowadays, they’re just the beginning. The world’s smarmiest advertisers have begun inundating us with pop-up and pop-under ads: nasty little windows that appear in front of the browser window, or, worse, behind it, waiting to jump out the moment you close your browser. They’re often deceptive, masquerading as error messages or dialog boxes... and they’ll do absolutely anything to get you to click inside them (Figure 9-12).
Figure 9-12. Top: If you click the “pop-up blocked” message, you can choose Temporarily Allow Pop-ups, which lets you see what IE is blocking—or just press Ctrl+Alt. Or if pop-ups are important on a certain page (like the confirmation screen on a travel-booking site), choose Always Allow Pop-ups from This Site. Bottom: Later, you can always manage the list of “pop-ups permitted” sites by choosing Tools→Pop-up Blocker→Pop-up Blocker Settings. This dialog box appears, listing all pop-up-approved Web sites (and offering a Remove button if you’re having second thoughts). Here, too, you can turn off the “blocked pop-up” sound, eliminate the Information bar, or adjust the level of the pop-up filter (High, Medium, or Low).
Pop-ups are more than just annoying; they’re also potentially dangerous. They’re a favorite trick that hackers use to deposit spyware on your PC. Clicking a pop-up can ...