Pop-Up Blocker not blocking anything!


G

Guest

I installed the windows xp update as soon as it was available, and was
pleased that it came with a great new pop-up blocker. The pop-up blocker
worked for about a week, and then it stopped. I checked to see if it was on,
and it was. I checked the settings, and they were on medium, so I put it up
to high, and still nothing was getting blocked.

What can I do?
 
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L

Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]

Loraxaeon said:
I installed the windows xp update as soon as it was available, and was
pleased that it came with a great new pop-up blocker. The pop-up
blocker worked for about a week, and then it stopped. I checked to
see if it was on, and it was. I checked the settings, and they were
on medium, so I put it up to high, and still nothing was getting
blocked.

What can I do?

Perhaps these aren't browser popups, but the result of spyware/malware on
your PC. Have you tried the latest versions of AdAware and Spybot?

Dealing with Unwanted Malware, Parasites, Toolbars and Search Engines:

http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm

Also, make sure your firewall is enabled or you're using another firewall to
block all inbound traffic to your computer/network - "messenger service"
popups are another kind of problem.
 
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B

Bruce Chambers

Loraxaeon said:
I installed the windows xp update as soon as it was available, and
was
pleased that it came with a great new pop-up blocker. The pop-up
blocker worked for about a week, and then it stopped. I checked to
see if it was on, and it was. I checked the settings, and they were
on medium, so I put it up to high, and still nothing was getting
blocked.

What can I do?


What specific kind of pop-up is it? There are at least three
varieties of pop-ups, and the solutions vary accordingly.

1) Does the title bar of these pop-ups read "Messenger Service?"

This type of spam has become quite common over the couple of
years, and unintentionally serves as a valid security "alert." It
demonstrates that you haven't been taking sufficient precautions while
connected to the Internet. Your data probably hasn't been compromised
by these specific advertisements, but if you're open to this exploit,
you may well be open to other threats, such as the Blaster Worm that
swept across the Internet last year and the currently active Sasser
Worm. Install and use a decent, properly configured firewall.
(Merely disabling the messenger service, as some people recommend,
only hides the symptom, and does little or nothing to truly secure
your machine.) And ignoring or just "putting up with" the security
gap represented by these messages is particularly foolish.

Messenger Service of Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;168893

Messenger Service Window That Contains an Internet Advertisement
Appears
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=330904

Stopping Advertisements with Messenger Service Titles
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/howto/communicate/stopspam.asp

Blocking Ads, Parasites, and Hijackers with a Hosts File
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

Oh, and be especially wary of people who advise you to do nothing
more than disable the messenger service. Disabling the messenger
service, by itself, is a "head in the sand" approach to computer
security. The real problem is not the messenger service pop-ups;
they're actually providing a useful, if annoying, service by acting as
a security alert. The true problem is the unsecured computer, and
you've been advised to merely turn off the warnings. How is this
helpful?

2) For regular Internet pop-ups, you might try the free 12Ghosts
Popup-killer from http://12ghosts.com/ghosts/popup.htm, Pop-Up Stopper
from http://www.panicware.com/, or the Google Toolbar from
http://toolbar.google.com/. Alternatively, you can upgrade your WinXP
to SP2, to install IE's pop-up blocker. Another alternative would be
to use another browser, such as Mozilla or Firefox, which has pop-up
blocking capabilities. (But I'd avoid Netscape; it carries too much
extraneous AOL garbage.)

3) To deal with pop-ups caused by any sort of "adware" and/or
"spyware,"such as Gator, Comet Cursors, Xupiter, Bonzai Buddy, or
KaZaA, and their remnants, that you've deliberately (but without
understanding the consequences) installed, two products that are
quite effective (at finding and removing this type of scumware) are
Ad-Aware from www.lavasoft.de and SpyBot Search & Destroy from
www.safer-networking.org/. Both have free versions. It's even
possible to use SpyBot Search & Destroy to "immunize" your system
against most future intrusions. I use both and generally perform
manual scans every week or so to clean out cookies, etc.

Additionally, manual removal instructions for the most common
varieties of scumware are available here:

PC Hell Spyware and Adware Removal Help
http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml

More information and assistance is available at these sites:

Blocking Ads, Parasites, and Hijackers with a Hosts File
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

The Parasite Fight
http://www.aumha.org/a/parasite.htm

--

Bruce Chambers

Help us help you:



You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on
having
both at once. - RAH
 

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