How to Stop Websites from Offering to Send Notifications

Perhaps someone out there woke up one day and thought to themselves:

You know what I want? I want nearly every website I visit today to throw a pop-up in my face offering to notify me about whatever they find exciting! That way, when I’m minding my own business trying to get stuff done, I’ll have brand new distractions to prevent me from being able to concentrate!

…but that isn’t something I’ve dreamed of, personally. And you may have detected a mild tone of sarcasm here (if not, I apologize that it wasn’t more obvious), but the bottom line is that I really don’t want to be bothered.

I don’t want to be bothered with the question about whether I’d like to get notifications, not to mention notifications themselves!

Good News: You Can Block These in Your Browser

And I mean you can block the questions as well as the actual notifications.

Thanks to Steve Gibson from Gibson Research Corporation, who mentioned this on a recent episode of the Security Now! podcast, here’s a handy set of instructions for you.

Time needed: 2 minutes.

How to Block Websites from Offering Notifications in Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome’s 3-dot menu and click “Settings”

    Using any desktop version of Google Chrome*, locate the 3-dot menu (from Windows and Linux, this is typically at the top right), click it, and then choose “Settings” from the menu that drops down.

    *or Chromium, if you’re rocking the open source version like I am.Security Now!

  2. Click “Advanced” (at the bottom), then find “Content Settings” (or “Site Settings”) in the “Privacy and Security” section

    The setting we’re looking for is hidden under the “Advanced” section, which you can find by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the “Settings” page that opens up. Once you click “Advanced,” the page expands and you’ll see a new section called “Privacy and Security” which contains a number of rows of options.

    Look for the option labeled “Content Settings” (that’s what it was called in my version) or “Site Settings” (this is what Steve Gibson’s instructions said, so his version—and maybe yours too!—might be different).

  3. Click on the “Notifications” option, then move the “Ask before sending” slider to the left

    When you click “Notifications,” a new screen opens up, and if your version of Google Chrome still has the default setting, you’ll see a line near the top that reads, “Ask before sending (recommended).”

    When you move that slider to the left, it turns the notifications requests off, and you should see the text change to “Blocked”.

    Voila! No more requests from websites!

    (While you’re here, you should see a list of any specific sites you’ve either “blocked” or “allowed” notifications from, and you can review/edit your settings.)

How to Block Notification Requests in Firefox

If you use Mozilla Firefox, which is my “daily driver” browser these days, you can block these notifications requests there as well. Here’s how:

  1. Open a new tab in Firefox and type the following in the address bar:

    about:config
  2. You will most likely see a warning that says, “This might void your warranty!” If so, click “I accept the risk!” to continue.
  3. You’ll see a search box at the top of a long list of configuration items. Type in:

    webnotifications

    …and press “Enter”
  4. Locate the setting named, “dom.notifications.enabled” and toggle it to “false.” (I did this by double-clicking it.) It should turn “bold” in appearance, and the “status” column should change to “modified.”
  5. Close the tab. You’re done!

How to Test Your Browser to Confirm the New Settings

As Steve Gibson pointed out, Mozilla (makers of Firefox) were kind enough to build a page just so we can test our browsers to see if the notifications settings change was successful or not.

Well actually, the page was built to serve as part of Mozilla’s excellent developer documentation, but if you visit it from a browser that has the notifications enabled (which they are in most browsers by default), it will pop up a request every time!

The page is called Using the Notifications API. Click it now to see if your settings change worked!

Did You Find This Useful?

I hope so! Feel free to share it, of course. But maybe head on over to Twitter and give Steve Gibson a quick “thank you” for sharing!

And if you’re interested in security and privacy online, be sure to subscribe to Security Now! on your favorite podcast app. It’s worth the listen!

Winning in the New Economy

China. India. The increasing decline of the dollar. A globally integrated economy like never before in the history of the earth.

These are some of the signs of the kind of large-scale sweeping change that is not only coming… but is here today.

Evidence of this includes the recent trillion-dollar single-day losses on global equity markets due to the fraudulent trading activity of one 31-year-old French futures trader. Thankfully, it was Martin Luther King Day here in the U.S., and our equity markets were closed. The Federal Reserve jumped in with the largest emergency rate cut in 26 years, and followed it up with another large cut at its regular meeting the following week.

What does all of this mean to business leaders — particularly small-business entrepreneurs? How do we navigate the unfamiliar waters we now find ourselves in?

All of these topics and more are the subject of an event taking place at the end of this month called, “Winning in the New Economy.” The list of speakers reads like a virtual roster of Epiphany Consulting business partners and clients. Included in the lineup are Eric Beck, founder of the Total Integration Program, my good friend Jeff Timpanaro of Oberata Consulting in Houston, Blain Wease of Provincial Development in Nashville, TN, and Juan and Sharon Restrepo of REIPtheRewards.com and Home Rescue Solutions here in Florida.

The event is being held at the exclusive Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida and will be a mixture of keynote-style sessions and workshop-style sessions. You should expect to finish the day with a working strategy in hand, well-equipped to chart out a course for the future even through the murky waters of change.

All the details, including online registration, are available at the event website.

By the way, if you’re interested in hearing more about it, Eric Beck was my special guest co-host today on the Friday Wrapup Podcast. We talked quite a bit about the transitions we’re all facing and the identity crisis it seems to have created on multiple levels. Hear the “Identity Crisis” episode here.

Christian Business Podcast

Well… sorta…

I’m honored to have been invited to participate in a new weekly podcast from ChristianBusinessDaily.com.   It’s called the “Friday Wrapup” and it’s partly about business — but it’s also part news, part commentary, and part “who knows what else.”

The first episode is a little wild — probably something to offend the sensibilities of most.  Nothing off-color, naturally, but your politics might be a little riled up by the time it’s over.

My co-host in this new feature is bestselling author and sales trainer, Michael Pink.  We’ve planned on roughly 30 minutes per week.  You can subscribe via iTunes, snag the RSS feed, or visit the site.

I’m looking forward to feedback on this!