YES to cookies, NO to notifications

By | February 12, 2024

This week I’ve decided to tackle a common problem that we get on the Inner Circle quite often, which is how to avoid getting dodgy website notifications.

Saying no to notifications

When you go to a website, trying to actually get to the site can feel like an episode of the Krypton Factor. All those little annoying pop-ups about cookies and notifications and “here’s a 10% code if you give us your email address”, not to mention the adverts and other gubbins cluttering up the screen.

I imagine a lot of us end up just clicking or tapping on “Accept”, “Yes”, “Allow”, or whatever, without actually checking what we’re agreeing to, just to make it all go away and let me see the blasted website! But that isn’t always the best plan…

On the one hand, saying yes to cookies isn’t necessarily a bad idea – both the delicious baked kind and the digital kind, which are a type of file that makes a lot of websites work better. You can always turn them down if you aren’t sure (or if you’re just not hungry at the moment)…

On the other hand, saying yes to notifications can be a bit of a risk if you don’t 100% trust the website that’s asking you.

Well-regulated sites like BBC News or Facebook won’t cause you any worries, but some less trustworthy websites can end up sending you dodgy ones that tell you you have a virus (when you don’t), or that you need to renew a subscription (which you’ve never taken out). So if the website isn’t for a big, reputable company, you’re best off clicking on “Block” when it asks about notifications.

Here’s an easy way to remember what to do: if in doubt, say NO to no‑tifications.

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