If you have ever surfed the Internet before you've likely typed in the wrong Internet address. It takes you to some strange site you've never heard of, much less had any desire to visit. Then it bombards you with pop-up after pop-up. Even some of the sites you like have pop-up ads. That's where a new free program comes in to offer annoyance free web surfing.
"Basically what it does is when you browse the Internet sites, it stops the pop-up ads from coming up," said Hopson Arceneaux, with Nerdworks Computing.
Arceneaux puts the program to the test. In the event of a pop-up the program will block it and send a message that confirms that it has stopped the pop-up message. Although, that may quick-fix your pop-up problem, some websites place programs on your computer called spyware. Arceneaux says the spyware software tracks your moves on the Internet, especially your spending habits and reports that back to certain websites.
Not only are they intruding on your personal computing habits, but spyware can slow your computer's performance. "Those programs can actually interfere with software that's running on your computer and it can also take up your Internet bandwidth in the background that you're not even aware of," said Arceneaux.
Another free program, Ad Aware 6.0, will scan your computer for spyware. Ad Aware disables those programs and deletes them. However, if you have a broadband Internet connection, like a cable modem or DSL, you're likely online anytime your computer is on. - Which makes it easy for hackers to break into your system. Arceneaux recommends a firewall to restrict packets and requests from your computer from the outside.
Zone Alarm is a free firewall. It won't let another computer talk to yours unless you start the communication. Hackers can occasionally find ways around a software firewall. But if you put this device between your computer and your Internet connection, they're not getting in. It's a router and it costs between 60 and 80 bucks and is really easy to hook up.