"Gotcha!" or How the Pop-up
ads try to fool you -- and how to avoid getting caught
We all hate them - those annoying pop-up and pop-under windows
that show up on your screen when you are browsing some of the most
respected websites. Some of us use blocking software or have moved
to the Open Source Firefox browser, which is graining in popularity
by the week. But perhaps you need to visit sites that use pop-up
technology for delivering content, or for other reasons you do not
use a blocker. You just close the windows when you see them and
continue surfing the Internet.
Most windows are easy to close by clicking on
the "x" in the upper right corner, just as you close any
other window. Likewise, intrusive ads that fall down or otherwise
cover content (often on news sites) always hide a "close ad"
link or an "x" in a small box somewhere
in the ad. You may have to look closely, but it can be found.
as consumers and internet users become more sophisticated and less
likely to read ads, the advertisers are becoming more "sneaky"
in the way the design their ads in an effort to get their message
before consumers. This ad (left... click image for a larger view)
is a good example that just appeared on my screen while I was researching
a word for a client's web site.
Look closely (it is easier to see on the larger
image) and you will notice two "x-boxes"
in the upper right corner. Both look like where you click to close
a Windows-type window, where the outer-most "x" closes
the entire program and the inner "x" just closes the document
but not the program in which you were working. One would THINK,
upon seeing this, especially with the inner bar being the only blue
one, and drawing the eye (which is how it actually looked on my
that this emphasized "x" would be where you click to close
the window. NO!
The inner bar and "x" are actually part of the image
and when you click on them, yet another window opens with the advertisers
website! (larger image
view) You need to look carefully and click the outermost "x".
A safe way to close an suspicious window is to
look at the bottom of your screen, where each window you have open
creates a small "button" with the program icon (see
illustration below) and (if there are not too many for
it to show) the name of the program or file that is open. Popup
and pop-under windows also generate such a "button" which
will have the Internet Explorer icon showing.
If you have more than one Internet Explorer-related button, a single
click will open or bring to the front each web window in turn. When
you come to the one associated with the annoying pop-up (or if there
is only one such button showing) RIGHT-clicking
on it will open a small menu on which you can safely click CLOSE.
There are many other safety tips that we would be glad to share.
Just give us a call to schedule a "safe computing seminar"
for your employees.
For a free consultation to see how your business
can benefit from professional design services on the Internet or
in print, contact Vision IPD Incorporated, PO Box 2497, Bangor ME 04402 phone 207 433 0687 or email vision(at)visionipd.com