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Pop ups- General overview

hi,

I am running XP-Pro. i get popups... it is annoying, and on a business computer. I would like a general overview..

as i understand, my banking software will not run with out allowing pop-ups from their site. Yet popups really slow productivity in my office applicatioons.
There is a privacy tab in MS IE, which has a "block popups".  and Privacy is set apart from security. Could we differentiate between security and privacy.

Also, is windows defender the choice product here?
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intelogent
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intelogent
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2 Solutions
 
war1Commented:
Greetings, intelogent !

Yes, popups are annoying.  Windows XP SP2 has a popup blocker.  It will block most popups.  If you want to allow legitimate popups, hold down the CTRL key before click on the popup link.

Windows Defender is a good antispyware, not a popup blocker.  If you want a third party popup blocker, I would recommend Popup Stopper. The free version is excellent.
http://www.panicware.com/

Best wishes!
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r-kCommented:
Also, in IE, when you are at the banking site, and the pop-up gets blocked, you will get a cream-colored bar just below the Menu Bar that reads something like "Pop-up was blocked..." All you have to do is to click on that new bar and select "Always allow pop-ups from this site" and from then on you will be blocking pop-ups from other sites, but not from the banking site.

You can also tweak the pop-up blocker settings as follows (in IE):

 Tools -> Internet Options -> Privacy

then "check" the box that reads "Block pop-ups" and click on Settings, and you can fine tune the level of blocking and which sites to allow, etc.

Security vs Privacy: The Security settings are designed to protect you from acquiring malware (viruses etc.) that you may acquire by visiting bad or hacked web sites. Many sites have something called ActiveX Controls, which are small programs, that get downloaded to your PC to perform different functions. For example, the Windows Update web site installs a small program that checks whether you need more updates, and so on. As you can imagine, a malicious web site might install a small program to steal your passwords. The main purpose of the Security settings is to prevent this. It does it mainly by dividing web sites into zones such as "Trusted Sites", "Local" and "Internet" etc. with differeing levels of permissions about what they are allowed to install on your PC.

The Privacy settings mainly deals with Pop-ups and Cookies. Cookies are small files that by themselves are harlmess (i.e. they are not executable code) but which can track your browsing habits. They are often used by e-commerce sites like Amazon.com to record your username and which web pages you visited last. The idea is that the next time you visit, they will read the Cookie from the previous visit, and tailor the page you see by showing you similar products as last time, and adding "Welcome xxxx" at the top (where xxx if your name) etc. In some cases this is abused by some sites, and you in some cases you may not want Amazon or anyone else to know where you visited last, so you can tweak the Privacy settings to block cookies from all or certain web sites.

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intelogentAuthor Commented:
War…..
Thanks so much for responding...
your saying that anti spy ware protection is differentiated from a pop-up blocker?
And that if I turn on the windows popup blocker, it will notify me when a popup has been blocked. Also that I may con configure the “ pop- up blocking mechanism by either adding the site manually to the “Allowed sites” section, or by holding the  ctrl key before I allow the pop-up through.
As far as panic ware----I do not think I would install third party software yet, without understanding what is going on with my machine….Then when I got a good handle, I can make an Intelogent decision

To go the next level, I would like to discuss the filtering of the pop-ups as accomplished with the on the “settings” button , on the privacy tab of MS IE.  
I see that here I can make some choices…
      I can Block all – which I guess would be the right thing… if it is notifying me, and I can over ride it on the fly… But if I block all pop-ups, when I return to a site which I have listed as “allowed”  will it keep on blocking pop-ups from it.

I am confused, for I would like to understand the other choices…
      The low setting which allows it from secure sites…. What is meant by secure sites? Is that the term given to the sites I have allowed “pop-ups”  to filter through, by listing them in the “Allowed sites”   ( secure  Vs Allowed )

Medium… what would fall in the middle of these two options…
Any comments appreciated....

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intelogentAuthor Commented:
R-K,

what a great begining to the understanding of security. I need to do some leg work and lern here too... but now i understnd the difference between security and privacy...
let's get specific  on a few points.. please... We use certain sites every day... multiple times a day. at every use, it asks us to allow the active X from that site.. can i configure windows to not ask me , and just allow that site's active X features?
Any comments appreciated?
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war1Commented:
intelogent, you wrote

>> your saying that anti spy ware protection is differentiated from a pop-up blocker?

Antispyware programs protect you from spyware, not from popup.  Some spyware will generate popups, but you cannot stop them with popup blocker.  Popup blocker blocks advertising popups that arises out of the webpage.  Antispyware program will stop popup that arises out of your computer.

>> But if I block all pop-ups, when I return to a site which I have listed as “allowed”  will it keep on blocking pop-ups from it.

No, it will allowed all popups from the website.  So if you allow popups from banking site in your POP Blocker settings, every time that you returned to the site, popups will be allowed.

>> can i configure windows to not ask me , and just allow that site's active X features?

ActiveX is different from popups. The settings are different.  In Tools > Internet Options > Advanced.  Scroll down to the Security section. Make sure that "Allow active content to run in files on My Computer" is checked.  This option allows ActiveX to run on all websites, not specific ones only.
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r-kCommented:
"We use certain sites every day... multiple times a day. at every use, it asks us to allow the active X from that site.. can i configure windows to not ask me , and just allow that site's active X features?"

 Yes, for sites you use often and consider trustworthy, you can bypass the ActiveX prompts as follows:

 Internet Explorer -> Tools -> Internet Options

then highlight the "Trusted Sites" icon, click on "Sites" and enter the URL of the site in the "Add This Site..." field (use the full url, e.g. http://www.microsoft.com), then click "Add". If the site url begins with http:// rather than https:// then first un-check the box that reads "Require Server Verification..."

Next, click on OK, then click on "Trusted Sites" again, then click on "Custom Level", scroll in the next window and select the following buttons:

 Automatic Prompting for ActiveX Controls:    Disable
 Download unsigned ActiveX Controls:           Enable
 Initialize and script ActiveX Controls...:         Enable

(the last one may not be necessary so you can try without that first)

The above changes should let you connect to trusted sites without being prompted for ActiveX controls. Note that the looser permissions only apply to sites you add to the "Tuested Sites" list explicitly, not to the entire Internet.

Also, when you are prompted to install an ActiveX control the first time, and you allow that, it should not prompt you the next time for that same control. At least that I think is the default behavior. If you are being prompted for the same ActiveX control each time, there may be some non-default settings in your browser. In any case by adding that site(s) to your Trusted list, you can bypass the issue.

 
 
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intelogentAuthor Commented:
Also, when you are prompted to install an ActiveX control the first time, and you allow that, it should not prompt you the next time for that same control. At least that I think is the default behavior. If you are being prompted for the same ActiveX control each time, there may be some non-default settings in your browser. In any case by adding that site(s) to your Trusted list, you can bypass the issue.
If that were the case, then i would not be asking you...how to to configure it.
i still do not get one thing...why is it necesary to make the three changes to security, if i am tructing the site.

At any rate, i willmake the changes and report back to you my results... and thanks so much for the input and help.....

intelogent.

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