Ad Blocking on Your Devices
A lot of the inappropriate content you may accidentally run into online is in the form of ads. Even sites that you think are totally benign could end up having an ad for Viagra pop up. So today, we’re bringing you a few pointers on how to keep unwanted ads off of your screens.
Blocking ads on your laptop or desktop is simple. Adblock Plus is a free add-on that works on all major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera. I’ve been using Adblock Plus myself for over a year and I love it. It even blocks ads on Youtube. Here’s how you install it:
1. Go to adblockplus.org.
2. Click the green button that says “Install for (name of browser).” The site should detect what browser you’re using. We’re using Firefox as the example.
3. Your browser will ask you if you to confirm the download.
Once you’ve confirmed the download, you’re done! Adblock Plus will immediately start blocking the ads you would normally see. It works pretty much the same way regardless of what browser you have with only a few stylistic differences. For instance, if you’re using Adblock Plus with Google Chrome, the Adblock Plus icon in the upper right corner of your browser window will show the number of ads it’s blocking.
Adblock Plus sometimes has trouble with Hulu. If you try to watch Hulu with the add-on enabled, it is not uncommon for the videos to fail. However, you can easily disable Adblock Plus by clicking on the above icon and then clicking where it says “Enabled on this site” to toggle it off.
Unfortunately, there is no safe way to block ads on iOS devices. If you find an ad blocking app in the App store, it’s almost certainly going to work by directing you through a proxy server which totally compromises your online privacy. However, if you have an Android device, Adblock Plus is still the way to go. Here’s how you can install it:
1. First, go into Settings and tap Security.
2. Scroll down until you find where it says “Unknown sources” and check the box next to it. This will allow you to download apps without going through the Google Play store.
3. On your Android device, go to adblockplus.org.
4. Tap the green button that says “Install for Android.”
5. Tap the green button that says “Download.”
6. Find your recent downloads. On the device I’m using, that means swiping down from the top of the screen.
7. Tap on the item titled adblockplusandroid.
8. Your Android device will ask you if you want to install this application. Tap install.
And that’s it! If you open the application, you’ll see that you can toggle it on and off and adjust settings. It comes with “Acceptable Ads” checked so that Adblock Plus will allow some “non-intrusive” ads through but you can simply uncheck that option for completely ad-free browsing. Hulu doesn’t like Adblock Plus any better when it’s on your phone so you will have to toggle it off when you want to watch videos on Hulu.
I don’t usually use add-ons but enabling Adblock Plus on my laptop changed how I browse the web. I no longer sit through ads on Youtube or see them in my Facebook feed. And, I don’t have to worry about my kids seeing inappropriate content – at least not through advertisements.