Simple Sunday Tip: How to block ads (most of them)

A few months ago, I thought that there may be some upside to allowing internet based ads. I even said that I would begin not installing Ad Block Plus on new computer setups. I never followed through on that. Why? Having all ads enabled makes our internet 20% to 30% slower on average. Some of the ads are just obscene in terms of their sizing and inability to close. Unfortunately and far too often, online ads are not screened for potential malware and have infected many computers.

To be fair, most of the Internet is free and it is supported by ads. I am not against all ads . Ad Block Plus all allow for some non intrusive ads to show up on various web pages. A lot of the funding for Ad Block Plus comes from Google and as you know, Google’s primary source of income is ad revenue.

Therefore, I am saying that it is good to have Ad Block Plus installed and live the the occasional ad that shows up on some web pages. I would feel much more comfortable with advertisers that comply with their standards than in letting my computer become the wild west for advertising.

Some websites like Hulu, require that your ad blocker be turned off. This is very simple. On the ABP icon in your browser (the one that shows up if you have Ad Block Plus installed — you can click it and un-check the “Enable on this site”.
If you don’t currently have Ad Block Plus installed you can get it by visiting
https://adblockplus.org/

If you don’t mind ads in general, but would simply like to block tracking ads — ads that track you from one website to another (not a virus and considered totally legal, if you can believe it) — then you may want to install Privacy Badger instead of Ad Block Plus
https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

Here is how tracking cookies work. Let’s say you visit Sears.com and you buy something. Later in the you visit the Hartford Courant’s website and a few hours later go to the NY Times site. On both sites you see an ad for Sears. If this were the case, it would mean that that advertiser uses tracking technology.

Mobile phones and tables are a different animal. I have found using the Safari browser on my iPhone unusable because of pop up ads on nearly every page. These ads take me to the App Store to buy something. Apple claims it will offer an ad blocker in IOS 9 when it comes out in the fall. For now, I like the Dolphin browser (free) or Mercury browser ($2 per month) on iOS because they block ads. On Android, you can also download the Dolphin browser which gives you the opportunity to install an ad block extension. Furthermore, the Firefox browser is available for Android. With it you can download the same Ad Block Plus you have come to love on your computer.

Put your ad blocks up, but not your tinfoil hats!

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