This is how you stop annoying advertisements on the internet

Advertisements on the internet are bloody irritating, aren't they? Well, we don't think so, as makers of magazines and websites we also offer advertising. We do believe that advertising is something that should be handled with care and that absolutely no one should be bothered with. And that's exactly where things sometimes go wrong, and then advertising really becomes bloody irritating. Fortunately, in such cases you do not have to sit and wait patiently, you can do something about it yourself.

Tip 01: Necessity

We already indicated in the intro: we are of course not against advertising. Not only because we as a company partly depend on it, but simply because it is a necessity in a world where most content is offered for free. Also, if we launch a new special or magazine that we think would get you wildly excited, it's important that we let you know (with your consent). As far as we're concerned, that's what advertising is all about: a way to let people know about something they've been waiting for. And so absolutely not as an instrument to push everything that we make down everyone's throats. An ad-free internet is like ad-free television: not possible. Although, Netflix does of course, but can only do so by debiting you monthly (and that amount was increased significantly at the end of last year). In this article, we won't treat advertising like the devil, because it isn't. Parties that do not adhere to fair practices, on the other hand, are best placed in that category in our opinion. Because they screw it up for everyone.

Tip 02: Good vs Bad

Good and bad, those are pretty strong words. Because bad advertising, is there such a thing? Absolutely, just like there is good advertising, and all the dozens of shades in between. What we consider to be bad advertising has not so much to do with the content, but with the way of presentation. An ad is something that you would voluntarily click on because you are interested. When you are manipulated in such a way that you accidentally click on an ad when you were not supposed to, then we think that is bad advertising. For example, advertisements with the Download button on a download site to make you think you are downloading a program, only to be redirected to another program. Or an ad that loads in such a way that the screen jumps so that you accidentally click on it. A publisher of a website is at all times responsible for the content, and therefore also the advertising. If you are confronted with unfair or 'bad' advertising in this way, there is no shame in our view to block it.

Tracking cookies help you see less irritating advertisements

Tip 03: Tracking cookies

What about tracking cookies? Those are bad right? The European Union has even passed a special law for it. Phew, yes, that terrible cookie law. This is intended to make people more aware of cookies. But this law has mainly led to a situation in which we all click on Accept, because otherwise the website no longer works properly. As long as tracking cookies are used for what they are intended for - serving up advertisements that you probably find interesting - we see absolutely no harm in that. Especially not because the information cannot be traced back to the individual. We do not recommend that you disable all cookies, even if you have absolutely no interest in advertising based on your interests (because that is what cookies achieve, among other things). Websites often no longer function properly without cookies: your preferences are, for example, also recorded in a cookie. We especially recommend that you adjust the settings of the services you use, so that they affect you as little as possible. How? We'll show you that in the following tips.

Tip 04: Ad blockers

Let's dive into the ad blockers first. Just as ads have a bad reputation with consumers, ad blockers have a bad reputation with companies. They are seen as bad because they allow people to hide advertisements. We see it differently: if you don't bother users with annoying ads, they have no reason to hide your ads. In that respect, an adblocker is just fantastic for separating the wheat from the chaff, and then we come to the good adblocker Adblock Plus. This program was once intended to ban all advertising from the internet, but it is now a program to mainly 'punish' parties that do not comply with the rules. Visit and download the extension for the browser of your choice. Once you've done that, annoying ads will be blocked, you don't have to do anything for that. Of course you also have control, for this you choose the Adblock Plus icon in your browser and then click Options.

Tip 05: Whitelisting

When you install Adblock Plus, the EasyList Dutch + Easy List is automatically activated. This is a filter that automatically blocks sites that are known to contain annoying ads. Such a list is of course never comprehensive. Through the menu Options you can in the tab Filters easily add URLs of sites whose advertising you find annoying or intrusive. But it is also possible the other way around. Suppose there is a site that you would like to support (we call it a crossroads: and where you know that the advertisements contribute something to your internet experience instead of detracting from it, then you can whitelist site. You do that in the tab Trusted domains. You type in the domain of the website whose advertising is not a problem for you, and then click on Add domain. The advertising on this domain will from now on be displayed as usual. You thereby reward the owner of the website who adheres to the rules (and indirectly secures the future of the site).

Email advertising is not spam and spam is not email advertising

Tip 06: Email advertising

You will not only see advertisements in your browser, but also in your e-mail box. You probably immediately think of spam, but that's not what we're aiming at right now (we'll cover spam in tip 7). We mean here promotional emails for which you have signed up, and which contain information about products and services you use or stores where you like to shop. But if all those commercials keep getting mixed up with all your other emails, your mailbox will be virtually useless. Our first tip would be: use Gmail. Gmail has a virtually flawless advertising filter. Advertising does come in, but is neatly classified in the advertising folder. This way you can go through those emails whenever you feel like it and have the time. If you don't want to use Gmail, we recommend that you get an extra email address that you use exclusively for registering with websites. All advertising, updates and other site-related e-mails will then arrive on the account that you have taken especially for that purpose. And you use your regular email account to communicate with friends, family, colleagues and so on. Extra handy: if you suddenly receive advertising on your regular account, you know that the company is not following the rules.

Tip 07: Spam

An advertising e-mail that you have not asked for is called spam. In 2009 spam was responsible for 90% of all e-mail traffic! In 2017, that percentage was a lot lower, but 55% is still a lot. Spam can seriously pollute your mailbox, so it is important to make short work of it. Among other things, Gmail is also very good at separating spam from regular email, and using a separate account works here too. But the most important tip we want to give here: always report spam and phishing emails. In addition, be careful with your email address. Those fun apps you give permission on Facebook? Sometimes those are just ways to get your email address. Online contests, voting, you name it… any place you enter your email address is a place that can lead to an increase in spam.

By the way, also make sure that your username on Twitter, Instagram, etc. is not the same as, for example, the at sign part in your Gmail or Outlook address. Bots scan these kinds of names and produce addresses from them, in the hope that there are a few hits in between (and that happens regularly). You want to prevent spam, not cure it.

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