By Laura Yecies
These aren’t necessarily security concerns, but I also think security companies tend to be in a good position to be consumer advocates for good netiquette. In that spirit, here are three things that I’d like to see pass into the annals of Internet history:
#1 – Pop-Ups.
I hate pop-up ads. I don’t mind advertising per se, but pop-ups disrupt the fun. Even more, I can’t stand the “click” pop-ups, IE pop-up ads that only appear when you accidentally click your mouse on some area of a Web site (even without a link). For example, sometimes when I’m reading a long story, I’ll highlight text with the curser in order to not lose my place and better follow the content. But on some sites, this triggers a pop-up ad. Or even a pop-under (so when I close out my browser, I have 12 windows open). I think these bypass pop-up blockers because I’ve somehow initiated it. Even more, I’m annoyed when my pop-up blocker blocks a pop-up that I actually needed to see.
#2 – Blocked “back” actions.
Like most people, when I surf the Web I jump around a lot between sites and within sites. Recently, I’ve encountered a number of sites using that old 1998 trick of preventing my browser from returning to a previous page in my history that’s “off site.” In order to actually leave, in IE I have to hold the back-button and go back two pages and avoid the block. Why? Does the Web site actually believe I will stay? That I was accidentally leaving? And didn’t Google ban sites that do this from search results along time ago? Is it no longer enforced?
#3 – Sound.
I keep my sound function on, because I like to watch videos and listen to music directly out of iTunes. But in general, when I’m surfing the Internet, I do not want Web sites to make a peep. But alas, that’s another trend that seems to be reappearing, especially as advertisers seek “richer” ways to get in your face and companies put podcasts and steaming video to showcase products. But it’s incredibly startling and annoying when you drop in on a Web site and unexpectedly it talks to you. Or plays a cute jingle (or concerto). And unfortunately my home PC has no external mute button, so I have to click the volume icon, and wait for it to come up, and then mute it. And smile sheepishly at anyone nearby.
So how about a few compromises to Web operators: don’t pop-up things I don’t need or want, don’t hold my browser hostage, and allow me to choose if I want to listen to something or not. That would make me a happy surfer.