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Getting Rid of Online Annoyances

Techstination feature for Monday, August 18, 2003

Getting rid of online annoyances. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The proliferation of pop-ups, spam, viruses and spyware has created opportunities for software companies that market tools for combating them. A company call STOPzilla is out with a new version of its highly rated pop-up fighter. The company's Robert Deignan says where the pop-up ads come from may surprise you...

"The majority of pop-up ads are coming from programs that are downloaded on their machine. Normally those programs are in the form of adware and spyware. And these are programs that get downloaded onto a users machine a lot of the time when they download other free applications."

Some of those applications won't work if you delete the adware or spyware programs... so STOPzilla suppresses rather than deletes them. And the software is smart enough to know the difference between a solicited window and an unsolicited one...

"The end user needs to be able to see solicited windows. In other words, if you went to a Web site, an e-commerce Web site for example, and you went through the check out process, sometimes there are new windows that will open. For example, to ask you how you want something shipped. Would you like it ground, next day... what have you. Sometimes a Web developer on the other end has developed that technology where it opens another window. And for the end user, they don't know when that's going to happen."

You can try it free for 15 days. The price to buy is 30 dollars. More on software to protect your privacy... in our next report. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.