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Source : MicroWorld
Unwanted PopUp Ads: Intrusive Internet Advertisements
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Unwanted PopUp Ads are intrusive Internet advertisements that are displayed when you access
web pages. This white paper provides information about different type of PopUp Ads, losses they
cause, how they work and suggests key features that a good PopUp Ad Filter software should
What is a PopUp Ad
PopUp Ad is an advertisement that appears when you access or exit a web page. These are
created and placed on web pages by advertisers or web site owners. Not all PopUps are
unwanted. Some sites require you to fill a registration form or you may have clicked a link for
information and it is displayed as PopUp.
PopUp Ad provides a very cheap and 'cost effective' means to reach a wide audience. It costs the
advertiser a pittance and invariably gets the eyeball count.
Types of PopUp Ads
Common types of PopUp Ads are:
- Mouse Over: These are displayed when you move the cursor over a link or an object in the web
- Plain PopUps: These appear when you click on an object.
- Context PopUps: These appear when you place the cursor on a screen element and press the
context help button e.g. F1. A separate window giving information about the element is displayed.
- Tool tips: These appear for a small duration when you hold the cursor over a screen tool
element. They provide brief information about the element.
- Menu PopUp: These are displayed when you click on a link on the menu bar. They allow you to
perform additional tasks.
- Under Ads: These PopUps run in the silent or minimized window mode.
- On Load and On Unload: These are displayed when you open or close a web page.
Losses caused by PopUp Ads
While PopUps do not cause data corruption or system crash, they are irritating and cost you
money when you chase and stop them.
Some of the losses caused by PopUp Ads are listed below:
- You spend access time in trying to close PopUps. This costs money.
- Bandwidth of your ISP is consumed when pages with PopUps are opened. Web
pages you access take longer to open. This costs you money.
- They give information, not related to your interests. They may even be offensive and
give links to Porn, violence, etc.
- Some PopUps open a series of PopUps. New ones open up when a PopUp is closed.
- You may need to shut down your browser to close them all. This leads to
unnecessary use of bandwidth and net access time.
How PopUps Work
PopUps are HTML pages that use JAVA/VB scripts to run. They are classified by the way they
Event Driven PopUps: These are displayed when you carry out an event like:
Head and Body:
- OnLoad: When you click on a link to load web page.
- OnUnload: When you close a page.
- OnMouseOver: When you move the cursor over a link or an object in the web page.
The web page you access has the basic structure of head and body. PopUps are
enclosed in these two areas. As the page starts loading, the PopUp in these two areas are run
For a live demonstration of PopUps, visit http://www.mwti.net/testpop/test1.htm
What PopUp Filters do
When you open a web page, the PopUp Filter software reads the code in the web page. Any
commands that ask a PopUp to display are searched and overridden. A good PopUp Filter should
perform the following tasks:
- Act as a Firewall for PopUps. Works in the background.
- Monitor your system as you surf the web and kills PopUps before they open.
- Speed up your surfing by blocking PopUps.
- Provide configurable warnings alert you when a site attempts to open a PopUps.
- Does not block legitimate/informative PopUp windows.
Recommended Features of a PopUp Ad Filter Software
There are many types of PopUp Filter software that have flooded the market (probably as many
as the PopUps). The key features that a good filter should have are:
- Block 100 %PopUps.
- Allow PopUps of sites in White List.
- Hot key to allow PopUps to be displayed temporarily.
- Test PopUp Filter on-line. This feature allows you connects to a website with a
PopUp. If the PopUp Filter you have installed is good, PopUp Ad on the test page is
blocked and you can see details in the log.
- Should not hinder or slow your web surfing.
- Consume minimal CPU resources.
- Should not block legitimate PopUps. For e.g. In the CNN web page, news snippets
are displayed when you click a button. The snippets are PopUp windows.
White List: While majority of PopUp Ads are unwanted, some PopUps like registration forms,
on-line enquiry forms, etc. are very much required. Websites with PopUps that you need are
included in the White List. Once a website is included in this list, all PopUps in these sites are
allowed to be displayed on your screen. PopUps in sites, not included in the white list, are 100 %
Hot Key: Hot key feature allows you to assign a key that you keep pressed when you want
PopUps to be enabled temporarily in a page. As you surf the net, if you want a PopUp to be
displayed, press the hot key to display it temporarily. When you release the key, the PopUp is
About the Author
Govind Rammurthy is a hard core 'techie' with keen business acumen. He founded MicroWorld
Technologies Inc. in 1995 and has been in the forefront of the fight against Viruses and other
threats. He leads the team of programmers and QA who have developed world-class product
suites: eScan and MailScan. These products offer the greatest control in the areas of Anti-Virus
To find out how MicroWorld can help you, visit www.mwti.net
MicroWorld Technologies Inc.
By Govind Rammurthy - MD and CEO - MicroWorld Technologies Inc.