Can We No Longer View Websites without Getting Pop-ups?

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I’m getting a lot of ads popping up when I’m on a site (I guess they’re called pop-ups). It could be anything – an ad for an insurance company, or some other product disrupting my viewing and often it’s very hard to delete it; it just keeps popping up regardless. Is there any way I can eliminate these interruptions and if I do will it affect my viewing or access to these sites? The reason I ask is this: I can remember a few times I had to allow these pop-ups in order to continue accessing a site. Is it impossible in today’s internet that we can’t view the internet without these interruptions?

The problem here is that pop-ups come from many, many different sources and may be of many different kinds. Some are the very legitimate price you effectively pay for viewing a free website, others not so much.

Read moreCan We No Longer View Websites without Getting Pop-ups?

Who’s responsible for monitoring misleading advertising?

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Leo, thanks for your site. Which agency controls or watches the advertisements of all the links that are posted? The big complaint that I have are the sites to clean your PC, which say “Free”, and at the end you have to pay for activation. Should it be a requirement that a big red note says, “This is not a free site”? I fully realize that there’s no free lunch but these lead you on to sites and cause you to waste much time.

The practical answer to this specific question that you asked is there’s not really such an agency.

Yes, in the United States you might think of your state’s Attorney General, but practically speaking they’re rarely going to step in and help unless it’s something really, really serious and widespread.

Besides, most of these ads have some very slippery wording that actually keeps them out of trouble.

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Is Gmail’s targeted advertising a bad thing?

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Leo, are you aware of Microsoft’s new advertising campaign? If you follow the link, keepyouremailprivate.com/HowTheyDoIt. If true, does it not alter your generally positive attitude towards Gmail? Since I use an email client, Outlook XP/2003 rather than Gmail’s own site, I’ve not been aware of targeted ads. But the allegation certainly worries me. Is it true? Having NSA and GCHQ eavesdropping is quite bad enough without Google joining the party.

Is it true? Sure. I’m quite aware of it and it’s nothing really new at all. And yes, it actually has caused me to lose a little respect, but probably not in the way you think.

I’ve actually lost a little respect for Microsoft!

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What’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?

For some, this answer will seem both obvious and somewhat odd for me to address at all.

For others, however, there’s an extremely important lesson here. I’ve come to the conclusion that this concept needs some serious clarification.

And it’s not just about what happens here at the Ask Leo! website, but rather how people view the content that they see everywhere on the internet.

You need to recognize advertisements.

Read moreWhat’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?