How can I stop all these pop-up ads?

Pop-up ads come from two different sources, so you need a double-barreled approach to deal with them:

  • Spyware-generated pop-up ads: If you have spyware on your computer, it can bombard you with pop-up ads, even when you're not surfing the Internet. To get rid of these ads you'll need to remove the spyware from your system. To do this, follow the instructions in our Spyware section.
  • Website-generated pop-up ads: Many websites cover their expenses by programming pop-up ads into their site. When you visit the site, the site generates a pop-up ad. To stop this kind of pop-up you'll need to install some kind of pop-up blocker. Some browsers, such as Firefox and Internet Explorer 7, include pop-up blocking.  Otherwise two good pop-up blockers, both free for personal use, are:
    • The Google Toolbar: This adds a searchbar to the top of your browser window so you can easily search the web, but it also includes a pop-up blocker. It's available at Google Tools. This toolbar only works on Internet Explorer.
    • Pop-up stopper: This application is strictly a pop-up blocker. It's well recommended and there's a free version (for personal use) available at PanicWare.