Being Careful With Pop-Ups During Computer Use
There are a few things that most computer and internet users are quite familiar with by this point, and one of these is the pop-up. Pop-ups may show up while browsing the web for a number of reasons, and those who create them are doing so with several different purposes in mind - from advertising and marketing to more sinister ones like scams or phishing attempts.
At PC Laptops, we'll happily provide any kind of usage tips and expertise you might need for any of our desktop or laptop computers, and we also offer robust computer repairs for any issues that rise, including software issues. Here are some of the ways pop-ups are used, plus why you typically never want to click on them and how you can avoid any of the risks they pose.
There are a few different ways pop-ups are used, and it can vary depending on the person or entity behind them. Generally speaking, they're usually used either as an advertisement or to get users to subscribe to emails or services. They may also be used by hackers in attempts at phishing - using malicious links that appear like legitimate websites.
Quite frankly, however, it's typically not even worth your time to attempt to discern which is which in this area. It doesn't really matter whether the pop-up is legitimate or not - the best course of action is usually to avoid them altogether.
For one thing, it's important to note that pop-ups are less common on "healthy" or trusted websites. If you find yourself regularly getting bombarded with them, this is a sign that the sites you're visiting may not be entirely legitimate - which can be dangerous.
This also applies even if the pop-ups are trying to sell something legitimate - it's just far better on your wallet and your computer's safety to purchase through a trusted website or physical store.
Some of the most common pop-up scam attempts these days involve pop-ups that claim to have revealed a security flaw in your computer, or that your browser is out of date. They may claim to be an anti-virus company offering to help you for a fee, or some other type of technical service.
These are usually false claims and should be avoided at all costs. Legitimate companies don't use pop-ups as an official method for contacting customers - if you need to contact customer service you should look for the appropriate address on their website or send them an email directly.
Another important thing to know about these harmful pop-ups is that they usually rely on fear tactics to get people to click on them. They'll often try to make you think your computer is in immediate danger or that you need their help, when the reality is that nothing may be wrong at all.
Typically, it's far better to simply close the window and move on with what you were doing. If the pop-up does appear to be legitimate, you can always go back and research it further before deciding what to do - after all, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your computer security.
As you may already know, some pop-ups are extremely difficult to close out of. This is usually a sign that the pop-up was created by malicious actors who want you to click on it and potentially download something dangerous onto your computer.
If this happens, simply try holding down the Alt+F4 keys on your keyboard (control+Alt+Delete on Macs). This should bring up a prompt that allows you to close out the window. If you find yourself in this situation frequently, it's best to scan your computer with an anti-virus program and take any other steps necessary to protect your machine from potential threats.
Luckily, if you're taking the right measures, it's easy enough to prevent pop-ups from appearing in the first place. The most obvious one is to make sure your browser has an up-to-date ad blocker installed, as this will help keep most of them at bay.
Additionally, you can also opt into any anti-phishing programs offered by your internet provider or download third-party software that helps to detect malicious links. Taking these steps can help ensure your computer is safe from the dangers of pop-ups.
Finally, check your browsing behaviors if you find that you're running into lots of pop-ups - if you're visiting sites that have a lot of them, it's best to avoid them in the future. This can go a long way towards keeping your computer secure and preventing any potential harm from malicious pop-ups.
For more on pop-ups and online safety, or to learn about any of our laptops or desktop computer services in SLC, West Jordan, Sandy or any nearby part of Utah, speak to our team at PC Laptops today.