Way to Get Rid of Pop-Ups

Honestly, is there anything as annoying as opening your phone or laptop, trying to enjoy an article or read up on the news, only for a pop-up to block your visit? It happens ten times a day, and no one quite knows exactly to which they are giving their consent. It’s a slippery slope to just accept all cookies and start scrolling. But what other option does one have? There seems to be no way of getting around the notification as the majority of sites won’t even let you read a part of an article without confirming your consent to accepting cookies and always gives you the feeling that you have to accept or you won’t be able to enjoy the full functionality of the website. Knowing the different types of cookies that are stored on your device is the first step, and then there is even advanced technology to block pop-ups altogether. Let’s dive into the world of cookies, ads and pop-ups.

Essential Cookies

Any western person today uses the internet for a variety of applications, from youngsters doing homework to business people researching topics to avid shoppers making the most of online shopping. And with everyone being online either for work or entertainment purposes, you all know the annoyance of pop-ups on your screen when all you want to do is read an article or check out a recipe. There’s actually a reason that the term “cookie” is used in the context of internet browsing: it originates from the word “magic cookie,” which is a term used by programmers. In computing, a magic cookie is a token or piece of data that a program passes to another, and which the latter typically returns in order to authenticate or validate itself. Now that the word is clear, why does every website ask users to accept cookies before being able to continue?

Nagging feeling aside, there is a reason for session cookies, and it’s not a bad one either. Session cookies fall under the umbrella of essential cookies, meaning that they are required in order to use the website and they often don’t require consent on your part. These cookies remember your activities on a website. For example, they keep you logged in to your account and without them, you would have to log in every single time that you visit a website, which can become incredibly arduous if you visit a specific site more than once a day. The same logic applies to session ID cookies, which are used to keep track of items that the user inputs an a website website. For instance, a cookie that remembers the answers to an online form or the items in a customer’s shopping cart. While these are essential cookies and make our lives easier, you can block cookie consent pop-ups all together—something definitely worth considering.

Two other essential cookies are authentication cookies, which are tracking cookies that work by identifying users through their login credentials and use these cookies to confirm the user’s identity and ultimately “remember” their account information. The other vital cookie is a user-centric security cookie, which says it all in the name: these cookies detect authentication errors and abuses, for example incorrect login details when a visitor enters incorrect credentials. Their main purpose is to detect and keep track of how many incorrect entries are made and then to notify the person on the other end of the account in case they are getting hacked.

Non-Essential Cookies

While the essential cookies above are required for smooth operation and do have a purpose that benefits users, non-essential cookies are the ones that you may be accepting hastily and don’t provide you with any additional features or functions; they even stay on when you are not online and your phone is charging. So, be sure to look out for analytics and customization cookies that require your consent because they track your user activity in your browsers, allowing website owners to better grasp how their site is being used. This is great for the website or domain owner, but doesn’t do anything for you. Whether you are streaming on Sling TV or watching Netflix, these cookies continue to be alert and awake, checking and tracking your movements.

The next type of non-essential cookie is called an advertising cookie—the name says it all. This cookie is placed on your computer or end device and is ultimately used to customize a user’s ad experience on websites based on their browsing history. So, in other words, it tracks what you search for, what you buy, and then hopes to provide you with ads that you will click on to purchase more products. This is not necessary for your daily searching and surfing needs, and can easily be avoided if you take the time to click on the preferences section when a pop-up message does appear, and remove the ticks next to the type of cookies you don’t approve of and give your consent to.

It is essential (excuse the pun) to understand what is happening behind the scenes in terms of personal data storage when you click on ‘accept and proceed’. Cookies can be stored in your browser for months, and only some stop processing data when you close the tab, while others continue tracking your movements if you don’t log out, for example, from Facebook, which very few people actually do. When last did you log out of your social media accounts? When your phone or tablet is logged in to your account, cookies track everything that you do. So, to be on the safe side, perhaps it’s time to check out a VPN or cookie blocker. Surf smart and be safe.



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