ad blockers

Why Am I Getting a Popup in AOL Mail?

Verizon

Episode 1661

Sue from New York

Sue is on AOL and is having issues with "Guce." What is that? Leo says it's adware by AOL that seeks to bypass adblockers in her browser. Guce is owned by Verizon, which also owns AOL and they don't like users using ad blockers or reading emails without ads. So it will redirect her to Guce.advertising.com. But many consider it a browser hijack, which would turn it into malware.  Go into the browser settings under extensions and see if there's an adblocker installed. She can either turn off the ad blocker, white list Guce or better yet, GET OUT OF AOL! Leo recommends Gmail.

How can I guard against scams like cross-site scripting?

Cross-site scripting example

Episode 1629

Jay from Providence, North Carolina

Jay wants to know how he can avoid cross-site Scripting attacks. Leo says that you could turn off javascript, but that would make most of the web unusable. Leo uses UBlockOrigin, which is nominally an ad blocker. But it can block cross-site scripting. A good browser like Firefox will protect you as well. In the security settings, you can block a lot of things like cross-site scripting. And load a minimal set of extensions as well.

Is AdChoices malware?

Frustrated computer user

Episode 1543

Steve from West Virginia

Steve fears his Android phone has been attacked by a virus. He's suddenly getting something called "AdChoices." Leo says that AdChoices is by The Digital Advertising Alliance, and is a response to Ad Blockers. It lets users fine tune their ad preferences. Steve can go into his browser settings and turn off popups and redirects. Then he can clear out his browser cache.

How can I block autoplay ads?

UBlock Origin

Episode 1452

Frank from Burbank, CA

Frank wants to know how he can filter out ads when he's on the internet. Especially when he's listening to music. Leo says that he has mixed emotions about blocking ads because he makes a living with ad supported content. But UBlock Origin is a good ad blocker. Leo says he should accept ads from sites he prefers. Another option is to block autoplay in Chrome. Just Google it, and he'll find a plugin to do it.

Block Malicious Content in Your Browser

Many websites on the internet use Javascript. In fact, it's often critical for websites to function at all — it's not optional. That being said, Javascript can be used maliciously to compromise your system, or simply use your computer to do things without your knowledge. For example, there are a lot of websites these days, such as CoinHive, that are making money by running a little bit of code on your computer with the purpose of generating cryptocurrency.

Usage of Ad Blockers Are on the Rise

Episode 1277

Use of ad blockers is on the rise, lending many who rely on browser ads to complain. And it raises the question ... who owns your browser and the media that comes to you? Leo says he understands while viewers want to avoid ads they don't care about while surfing, but as someone who makes a living by providing ad supported content, he is also understanding on of the impact of blocking the ads, it costs him money. It's a fine line to tow. Should users be allowed to block ads? Some believe they shouldn't.

Why is it taking so long to load a web page in Safari?

Episode 1232

Michael from Wisconsin

Michael uses the Safari browser, but it slows to a crawl and the pages time out. Leo says that if he uses a five year old computer, modern sites are going to be a challenge. One thing could be to use a different browser. Michael could download Chrome and see if he has the same problem. If he doesn't, then he'll know the problem is Safari. If the problem persists, then he can look at his connection. Leo also suggests trying an ad blocker to eliminate ads from loading. That'll make it easier. He should also check that Safari is up to date. He may need to update OS X to do that.