It’s annoying to get bombarded with ads when you visit a website. While some do go overboard with banners, side bar ads, pop overs and random ads throughout the page, most legitimate websites only have a small amount. These ads are necessary to help pay for web hosting, site upgrades and of course, the site content you love. You might want to block all the ads for a cleaner and safer viewing experience, but if everyone blocks the ads, the site loses all its revenue.

Luckily, there are solutions to keep you safer without having to resort to full ad blocking solutions such as Adblock. These solutions give you more control over what you do and don’t block so you get a better browsing experience and the site still earns revenue.

My recommendation is if a site is too cluttered with ads or you get a malware/virus warning from your browser or anti-virus software, let the site owner know. If it’s a virus warning, it’s probably best to just leave the site and try again in a few days.

Use Disconnect For Privacy

Disconnect

If privacy and not the ads themselves are the problem, try the Disconnect plugin. It blocks trackers from analytics, advertising, social and content. Not only does this help speed up page loading times, but it still allows all social media buttons and ads to load. They just won’t be able to track your behavior. Site owners might not like being able to gather information about you, but they’ll still earn from their ads. You can whitelist sites or allow specific trackers.

Change Adblock Settings

Adblock is used by millions, but that doesn’t mean those millions of people are blocking every ad on every site. If you change the default settings, you can choose which sites you block ads on and what types of ads you block. Click the Adblock icon in your browser and choose Options.

Adblock Settings

 

First, ensure the Allow some non-intrustive advertising box is checked. This automatically allows simple ads. Many ads are still blocked, but the less intrusive ones are allowed.

Non-instrusive Ads

 

My approach to ad blocking with this plugin is to whitelist a site when I first visit. If the site’s advertising is reasonable, I leave it on the whitelist. If the ads are everywhere and preventing me from being able to use the site or the ads are affecting the performance of my browser, I remove the site from the whitelist. This way, every site has a chance.

Add or remove a site from the whitelist by clicking the Adblock (ABP) icon and clicking either Enabled on this site or Disabled on this site. If you see enabled, this means ads are blocked. If you see disabled, this means the site is whitelisted and ads are allowed.

Whitelist Sites

Block Javascript

Security issues have been a problem for years with Javascript. Since some ads use Javascript, you can protect yourself from potentially malicious ads by using a script blocking plugin or disabling Javascript within your browser’s settings. NoScript is one the top rated for Firefox. QuickJava is another Firefox solution for blocking scripts and Flash.

For Chrome, go to Settings, Show Advanced Settings, select Content Settings under Privacy and select Do not allow any site to run Javascript under Javascript. If you want more control over Flash, select Let me choose when to run plugin content under Plugins.

Chrome Settings

 

Use Ghostery

Ghostery is another plugin that protects your privacy without killing ads. It also works well for blocking scripts, so you don’t have to worry about blocking Javascript manually. It’s designed to block thousands of trackers and you can easily see what’s blocked and even allow certain trackers if you want.

While it might seem easier to just block everything, websites need your support in order to stay online. The only other option is for every website to become a membership only site. If you enjoy a site’s free content, support the site by allowing ads. Remember, you can always block trackers and more obtrusive ads versus blocking everything.

~Crystal