Copyright 1999 - 2006, Sandra Hardmeier, All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Last updated 20/08/2006

Mike Burgess, MVP has a hosts file available for download that will help you automatically block a lot of baddies. Get it from http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm.

To quote his site:

"You can use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, cookies, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the Server that supplies these little gems. Example - the following entry 127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net blocks all files supplied by the DoubleClick Server to the web page you are viewing. This also prevents the server from tracking your movements.

Now includes most major parasites, hijackers and unwanted Search Engines!

In many cases this can speed the loading of web pages by not having to wait for these ads, banners, hit counters, etc. to load. This also helps to protect your Privacy by blocking servers that track your viewing habits, known as "click-thru tracking"...."

Its well worth a download.

An excellent utility to use with a hosts file is 'renhosts.bat', available for download on the same page.  I have it sitting on my desktop, and use it as needed (though I must admit I edited my copy a little to change the messages shown).....

Hosts file enabled:

Hosts file off: