Firefox - spammy webpages won't let me exit easily

There’s a behaviour that I’ve noticed several times recently. May have existed in past, but if so, not so often.

When I close the browser, certain pages that are tabbed pop up warnings that are basically “Please don’t go. Really leave? OK/Cancel”

They make me very paranoid. A page spammy enough to do that is a page where I don’t want to click on ANYTHING it produces, including buttons that are theoretically innocuous like OK and Cancel.

At least once, IIRC, a short time after pressing one of those buttons on a page/window like this, I got a Norton attack warning. Fortunately, Norton seems to have prevented whatever it was (or perhaps it was a false alarm, but still…)

Anyways, my new method when this happens is to pop open task manager and shut down Firefox that way. But then when I reopen Firefox, the first time it seems to want to open all the tabs that were open before (including the spammy one.) I shut down Firefox a second time via Task Manager, and when I reopen AGAIN, I am prompted as to whether I want to reopen tabs (and I say no.) i.e. It takes two runs of shutting it down via Task Manager before it “takes” and at least gives me the option not to re-open all my tabs when I restart Firefox again.

Needless to say, this is rather annoying, and a little frightening, from a security standpoint.

I would prefer to stay with Firefox. I would prefer not to run a global pop-up or ad blocker. But I would like to stop this behaviour. The powers that be for Firefox appear to have made some poor design decisions that allow this to happen (or does this happen with all browsers?) Is there some option in Firefox that allows me to prevent tabs/windows from throwing up these road-blocks when I try to close them?

I think it’s hard to avoid. I sometimes get dialogs in Chrome, too–usually an antivirus warning (yeah, right. MSE pops up warning on the task bar, not in a browser dialog). I always kill Chrome from Task Manager when it happens. To quote Sergent Apone, “Don’t touch nothin’.”

Dialogs that appear when you try to close a page are harmless, it’s just Javascript triggered OnExit. To stop pages from being able to do this, you need to block javascript by default, which probably means using noscriptin firefox. I wouldn’t bother, personally, it’s too much work to fix a harmless problem.

Make sure that “Block Pop-ups” is selected in Tools/Options/Content to start, and that there are no exceptions…

One other thing, you can run something like Ad-block, and then not subscribe to an adblock list, only selectively adding obnoxious ads. In other words, adblocking doesn’t have to be global.

Noscript has ended this obnoxious practice entirely on my browser…tradeoff being you have to whitelist basically every new site you visit. It’s worth it to me, but YMMV.

Yeah, I use noscript in a number of places. It can be a pita. One thing, make sure you go into the options and tell it not to open a page to the noscript home when it updates. It ends up with so many updates that the page felt like spam to me until I put an end to this behavior.

The noscript page is spam. The author goes to excessive length to make sure the ads on that page aren’t captured by adblock, and even went so far as to add a whitelist entry for noscript in adblock’s database silently in a past update. That’s another reason I prefer avoiding the plugin.

There’s some delicious irony in a tool for avoiding advertising spam being riddled by advertising spam…

Ironic yes. Delicious? Um no. more like frustrating as hell.

I figure as long as the AntiVirus is update I’m reasonably safe hitting OK. Although using task manager to terminate the programs with extreme prejudice is also prudent.