Step Three - Popup Windows
"...flashes of wit pop up like sharp-shooters" Honore de Balzac

If all Popup windows were flashes of wit, most users would probably not mind their intrusive nature too much. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most advertising popups. In addition, there is the very annoying kind that opens when you close a page, sometimes spawning multiple new Popup windows when you close it.

Fortunately, Netscape 7 come with a great Popup Manager which allows you to block popups that open automatically when you either enter (onload) or exit (onunload) a page. Netscape 7's popup preferences are IMHO , they allow you to either block or to allow all popups except for from those sites which you specify.

Mozilla's Popup Preferences

 The recommended "Popup Windows" settings are:
Check "Block unrequested popups" and "Display an icon in the Navigator status bar".
The latter is important since some sites use Popups for purposes like logging in to the site, i.e. useful purposes. If you have blocked popups for these sites, they will not work properly. I have noticed in quite a few cases (web shops, car rental sites) where this problem has occurred. Normally, Netscape's Popup blocking should only block unrequested popup windows, i.e. the ones that open automatically. Some sites, however seem to open popup windows in a way (e.g. with a delay) that Netscape interprets as unrequested, thus blocking them. If you are clicking on a link and something should happen, but doesn't, look at the lower right side of the browser to see if the icon for a blocked popup window is shown:

If the icon appears (Netscape 7.01 and up), double-click on the icon to open the Popup Manager and click on the "Add" button to allow the site you are on to open popup windows.

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configure Netscape 7.1's privacy and security features>
configure Netscape 7.1's privacy and security features Part II

Step Two - Images and Ad Banners

Another one of Netscape's privacy and security features is image blocking with the help of the Image Manager. Netscape allows you to selectively block images such as advertising banners.

Netscape 's Image Preferences

The recommended "Image Acceptance Policy" settings are:
Select "Accept all images". You can also select "Accept images that come from the originating server" but this may lead to some sites being image-less. If you are e.g. on "", the latter setting means that Netscape will only accept images that are fetched from "". If this site were to use a third party server to ensure that multimedia content such as images can be delivered even if the site is under high load, and many larger (news) sites do just that, this setting would also mean that the page you are viewing may be without images. So my recommendation is to allow all images and block them on a per-case basis.

  • The recommended "Do not load remote images in Mail & Newsgroup Messages" setting is:
    Check "Do not load remote images in Mail & Newsgroup Messages". This is a very important and useful option, which is often overlooked. It could save you from a lot of Spam.
    Now you are probably wondering, what images have to do with Spam. Simple: Many Spammers will send you Spam in HTML format. In the message, they are fetching an image from a server, often an "invisible" (1x1 pixel) gif, which has an ID added to it. This means that if the image is fetched from the Spammer's server, the server log will contain the ID that was assigned to your email address, letting the Spammer know that your address is valid and that you opened the message. This will, in turn, lead to even more Spam. If you have ever wondered about weird messages that did not seem to contain anything, now you know their purpose - to see, if you exist.
    So, I strongly recommend that you check this option, disabling the loading of external images in mail and newsgroup messages. If you are wondering if this will also make Mozilla not show you the images your brother or sister sent of the last family reunion, there is no need to worry. This option will not block images that are contained with the email, only those that are fetched from an external server.
  • The recommended "Animated images should loop" setting is:
    The setting for this option depends on your personal preferences. Some sites use animated images. When used selectively, this can contribute to a more efficient use of available space on a web page by showing 2 different things in one place. However, too many animated gifs, especially when used by poorly designed advertising banner can be very annoying and add "noise" to the page. This will distract you from what's important, i.e. the page's content. So, if you visit pages that make you think you're in Vegas, I would recommend setting "Animated images should loop" to "Once", otherwise "As many times as the image specifies" will be fine.

Clicking on the "Manage Image Permissions" button will open Netscape 's Image Manager.

Netscape 's Image Manager

The Image Manager shows you sites that can and cannot load images. To remove a site from the list, simply click on the site's / server's name and then on the "Remove Site" button;

Selectively blocking images on a website:

If you have selected "Accept all images", you may want to selectively block annoying banner ads. To do that, right-click on an image and select "block images from this server"

Now, when doing that there is something to keep in mind: Netscape will block the entire (sub)domain, i.e. if a site loads banner ads from "", it means that Mozilla will no longer accept any image from "", which most likely includes images that you want to see. If, on the other hand, the ad banners are fetched from "", or some other server like "", only ads will be blocked. So, if images seem to be missing from a site, simply right-click on where the image should be and select "Unblock images from this server".

Flash ads, advanced blocking:

There are some limitations to Netscape 's "out-of-the-box" ad blocking capabilities. When ads are fetched from subdirectories rather than subdomains, blocking ads will also block all other images. In addition, an increasing number of sites use flash based ads, which cannot be blocked through Netscape 's preferences. Flash ads can have the negative effect of bogging down the browser and your entire PC (for those of us with older systems).

Fortunately, there are ways to greatly improve Netscape’s ad-blocking capabilities. If you install the AdBlock extension, the shortcomings mentioned above no longer apply. Now you can block subdirectories, specific types of ads (e.g. flash) and more. And Computer Repair and Computer technical help will always be provided at any time 24/7 over the phone and remote access by certified techs.

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configure Netscape 7.1's privacy and security features>

Step one - Keeping the Cookie Monster in check:

Cookies are small bits of information your browser remembers for a web site. Your browser saves your cookies in a text file on your harddrive. Cookies by themselves pose no security risk: They cannot contain a computer virus, nor can they be used to spy on you by reading your harddrive's content. They can be very useful and make surfing the Internet easier when used properly by making sites remember who you are and in some cases what you like. However, some companies use cookies to track you across various websites, thus recording your user behavior. What makes it worse is that often those are companies you never directly dealt with, which means that you neither gave them the permission to track you, nor do you know what you get out of the deal.
With older browsers such as Internet Explorer 5.x or Netscape 4.x, you only had the choice of either completely disabling cookies, losing their benefits, allowing all cookies or having to say "Yes" or "No" to endless alert windows asking you if site "x" was allowed to set a cookie. Fortunately, newer browsers like Mozilla, Netscape 7, Opera 7 and to some degree Internet Explorer 6 give you the option to selectively allow and disallow sites to set cookies.

Netscape's Cookie preferences

IMHO, the ideal setting is to check "Enable all cookies" and "Ask me before storing a cookie". This will make you answer "yes" or "no" to quite a few cookie dialogs, but with Netscape you only have to do it once per site. Simply make sure "Use my choice for all cookies from this site"" is checked.

Netscape's Cookie dialog

There are several alternatives, depending how you surf the web:

  • If you don't visit sites that need to remember who you are, or if you don't care for that feature, but you visit sites who only allow you to enter with cookies enabled, select
    "Enable all Cookies", check "Limit maximum lifetime of cookies to - current session" and uncheck "Ask me before storing a cookie".
    This way, Netscape will accept all cookies but they are automatically deleted once you session is over (i.e. you close Netscape).
  • As an alternative to the general recommendation, you can also select "Enable cookies for the originating website only" or "Enable cookies based on privacy settings". This should work in most cases and especially with larger sites, but it may not work properly with all sites.

If you have accidentally blocked or allowed cookies from a site, you can easily change that by using Netscape's Cookie Manager.

Opening Netscape's Cookie Manager

Either open Cookie Manager by selecting "Manage Stored Cookies", which will show you all cookies that are currently set and site permissions ("Cookie sites"), or (un-)block cookies for the site you are currently visiting by selecting "Block Cookies from this site" or "Unblock Cookies from this site".

Netscape 7.1 contains the same Spam filter as Mozilla.

Netscape’s Mail filter was trained with 300 Spam messages and 2700 "good" messages. Then, they let Netscape automatically analyze 280 new Email messages. Here is a summary of their findings:

>>The analysis of the 2700 "good" training messages took about 1 Minute.

>>The subsequent automatic classification (Spam/not Spam) of the 280 new Email messages took only about 2-3 seconds

>>107 messages were correctly identified as Spam and moved to the "Spam" folder. Most importantly, not a single "good" message was classified as Spam!

>>The remaining 173 messages were identified as not being Spam and moved to the Inbox. Of those, 30 messages (17 per cent) were Spam but not identified as it.

These results are already very encouraging, especially when considering that Mail Shield's initial error ratio was 50 per cent and even after manual tweaking, it was still at 25 per cent.