Tag Archives: Google Chrome

Facebook ads may be rogue

I’m always looking for stories, and told my producer recently about these ads appearing on my Facebook page. Some are borderline pornographic — they are woman in bikinis who want to chat. Who knows what that will lead to if you actually click on it. My producer looked at me kind of odd and told me she doesn’t have these ads all over her page. Then, I realized they weren’t on my Facebook page when I log in at work either. It got me thinking – what are these ads? I found it’s a problem many Facebook users are experiencing, but it’s easy to fix.

Facebook has a help page dedicated to this issue known as adware. The social media site says it likely happened when you clicked on a post with a headline like — click here to see who viewed your profile. If you click on the post, you end up with software installed on your computer that forces it to run slowly, compromises security, and may cause unwanted ads. I can assure you I’ve never clicked on posts like that, but I still ended up with adware. So, be aware.

You know these ads are not legitimate because Facebook ads will never appear as banners in the center, top or left columns. Ads in those locations are indicative of a problem.

If you downloaded the program or just have it on your account, it’s easy to clean up your account.

To get rid of these programs, you need to get into the extensions folder and check the plug-ins. In Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools, Add-ons, and then Extensions.  In Google Chrome, go to Window and then Extensions. If you use Internet Explorer 8, go to Tools, Manage Add-ons, and then Toolbars and Extensions. Sure enough, we followed these instructions and found a rogue plug-in.

Plus, clean your cache before you launch your browser and visit the site again to clear out any rogue programs.

It takes just a few minutes, and will enable you to browse Facebook again without being bothered by annoying ads and putting your security at risk.

Upgrades add privacy and faster browsing speeds

As I loaded up Firefox this morning, a pop-up appeared in the lower right hand corner reminding me that there is an update available. There are lots of updates rolling out for browsers and even programs like Adobe. I got a warning about that this morning, too.

Upgrading can be frustrating because you have to learn about new features and find out where your favorite ones are now hiding. However, you should make the browser upgrades because you will gain privacy and security, while gaining faster browsing speeds.

Business Insider does a great job breaking down all the changes.  One cosmetic change you’ll notice on Firefox is that the tabs are above the address bar instead of below it.  One of the biggest differences you’ll notice is the browsing speed. Mozilla boasts up to six times the speed of earlier versions, and reviewers say they’ve noticed a difference.

With some of these browsers, you need the latest operating system for the browser download to work like Windows 7, Windows XP, or Vista.  Make sure you read the requirements which are usually right next to the “download” button before you click download.

Business Insider 10 best features of Firefox

Business Insider 10 best features of Internet Explorer 9

Business Insider showcases new features for Google Chrome 10
or just watch the video below to see all the changes from Google.

There are also great security improvements as browsers respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s request to increase your digital privacy. I call it reducing your digital footprint. Click here to read about those improvements.

Google launches opt out option to reduce your digital footprint

In November, I worked with a security company to show you how insecure you are when you browse online. Companies track your activities online for legitimate business purposes. Tracking software follows your every move, so businesses can advertise to you. They track you with “cookies,” but there are crumbs left behind when you close your browser.

There are ways to increase your privacy while browsing by deleting the cookies at the end of your session, logging out, or by browsing privately. On behalf of NewsChannel 5, the security company, SecureState, put together step by step instructions to help you make these changes.  Click here to see what you need to do to start browsing privately.

Since our story aired, the Federal Trade Commission suggested a “Do not Track” option that would give you a simple way to opt out of personalized ads.  Think of it like the Do Not Call list for the Internet. There are some trade groups as well that are on the cutting edge of this by offering self-regulation.

Now, Google is offering Keep My Opt-Outs as a plug-in for Google Chrome so you can permanently opt out from tracking cookies.   Google says once it’s installed, you may see the same ads repeated on certain websites or you’ll see ads that are less relevant to you.

Google also offers you the option to customize the ads you’ll see. Click here to see this option, called Google Ads Preferences.

This video from Google explains how it works.

According to national reports, Mozilla is also working on a Do Not Track option for Firefox.