This is an informational post for people who may be bothered by annoying ads on sites that often look as if they are part of what you're trying to do. I recently read about such a situation in our local newspaper's computer column where a reader had gone to a site to download an application recommended by the columnist. The reader said that he had to click on many links for things that he didn't want and the columnist replied that clicking the links were not really required but were ads on the site that made a person think that they were part of the download.
Sound familiar? Firefox and its add-ons to the rescue! There are way too many add-ons for me to discuss but I'll mention some of the ones that I use to minimize annoyances and to maximize the chances of a favorable and secure browsing experience. First, I use AdBlock Plus which does a good job as soon as it's added but which can also be directed to add more filters on a particular site if you so desire. Second, I use NoScript. When first visiting a site you have to right-click the NoScript icon at the bottom right of the browser window and choose "allow [sitename].com". That allows the site "plain and simple" but turns off many other things running in the background on that site. Sometimes you'll have to allow an additional portion of the site but it's worth the security to learn how to use this add-on. Third, I have been trying out HTTPS Everywhere and so far I have liked it. Next, for taming super cookies I use the BetterPrivacy add-on. Finally, for general browsing and wondering if a link in search results is safe to click or not I use WOT (Web of Trust). WOT not only rates a site with a color-coded icon after the site name but also provides a right-click option to choose "view WOT scorecard" so that you can be sure you want to go there.
For details about any of these add-ons you can do a search using the add-on's name and the word "review" after it to decide for yourself it if might be helpful. Once you have these add-ons enabled Firefox will keep track of them for you and will notify you when they need updates.
I have used Firefox almost exclusively for several years so I have no insight to offer about other browser alternatives to IE. Perhaps other readers who use something such as Chrome or Opera would like to weigh in on the topic.