Saturday, November 6, 2010

How I disabled in-text advertising from Infolinks

I frequently do internet research. A frequent annoyance that costs me time and has even caused me to loose important articles has been the in-text "pop-up" advertising scripts from Today the problem happened again, and I decided to do something about it. First, I right-clicked on the web page (using Chrome) and I selected "view source." Then I looked for the name of advertiser "infolinks" in the code. I found the hard-coded address in a javascript link.

I tried adding the address to my hosts file, linking it to the loopback address of my own computer, <>. In previous versions of Windows, that addition would have been sufficient to block an address. (Don't edit the hosts file without researching the topic first. You can disable web access entirely if you do it wrong.) I have used the hosts file in Windows 7 to enable my computer to find addresses on my own home network, but I had never used it to block an address. In Windows 7, it appears this method does not seem to work as a way to bock addresses.

I had to add the address to my firewall. In this case, I added the address only to my local computer's firewall, but I may choose to block it from my router as well.

To add the address to my firewall, I needed the actual IP address. To get the IP address, I "pinged" the URL . I typed "cmd" in the search/run text box from the start button form, using this command to open a console window (DOS emulator). In the console window, I typed "ping" I wrote down the address. Then I typed "ping," and I wrote down that address also.

I opened my firewall program, selected "advanced," added a new outbound rule, and accepted all the default values. Then, under the "Scope" tab on the firewall "properties" window. I added the two numeric addresses I had pinged.

Previously an article I could not read because it was littered with advertising "land mines," is now readable!

I support internet advertising. I especially like Google's unobtrusive ads like the ones on this page that don't get in the way of reading, and help pay to provide a free internet experience for all of us, but ads must never impede access to information.

Popup ads should be illegal. They never serve consumers. They impede or sometimes even prevent access to information. Sometimes they masquerade as the information they prevent users from accessing. By causing users to legitimately attempt to block their unwanted intrusions, popup ads cause legitimate popup response forms to be blocked as well.

I want to encourage my fellow internet users to avoid accessing sites or purchasing products that make use of popup advertising. Please pass this information along to others. Together, we can make the internet the productive and useful tool for education, communication (and business) that it was designed to be.

1 comment:

David Lloyd said...

According to Google Analytics, this article has been my most popular post!