We aren’t talking about surfing waves, but surfing the web. How many times have you visited a site and been bombarded by ads? They slow down your internet speed, completely distract you, and are a potential cyber risk. Our Onboarding Specialist, Dylan, uses a free tool to stop the distractions – uBlock Origin (different from uBlock, which still will allow some paid advertisers through). Here is what he loves about it.
That’s right, it’s a free, open source tool.
Download it and forget it.
Go to your web store based on browser to download the free tool. For Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, all you need to do is visit your web store based on browser. (Note: That’s right, it is not available for Internet Explorer. Yet. Dylan recommends … for IE. More on that later.)
After you have downloaded it, the program icon will appear next to your web address bar. When you scroll over it, you will see all of the connected domains. Next to them you will see a color indicator. The red means all requests were blocked, yellow means some were blocked while others were allowed, and the green means all requests were allowed. On the right side, you can very easily turn off the uBlock Origin if you are visiting a site that is safe and you wish to see the pop ups. Just click on the big blue power button.
Below you will see stats on what percentage of requests were blocked in this session, since installation, and how many domains you are currently connected to. At the very bottom you can be more specific in what you would like to block:
- Toggle the blocking of all pop ups for this site.
- Toggle the blocking of large media elements for this site.
- Toggle cosmetic filtering for this site.
- Toggle the blocking of remote fonts for this site.
When you visit a site, you will see the number of blocked pop up ads on top of the uBlock Origin icon. The last time I visited CNN.com, uBlock Origin stopped 59 pop ups. On Yahoo, it blocked 49 ads. On the Baltimore Sun site, it stopped me from seeing 56 pop ups. Wow!
As mentioned before, uBlock Origin is only available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge browsers. However, if you are running Internet Explorer, you can use another free tool, AdBlock or AdBlock Plus. Unfortunately, AdBlock will accept payment to allow some ads through their filters.
At the end of the day, we all want to stay focused and avoid clicking on any unknown pop up advertisements. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, ideas or other tools you use to be smarter at surfing the web!
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