BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Let's say you're looking for a new suit or dress online then a short time later, you start to see ads pop up in your social media feeds. It's called target advertising. Experts say it's becoming more aggressive. Ad blocking companies like Bad Ad Johnny say the average internet user is served over 11,000 ads per month.
"Their goal is to get you to click through their product and message. So they tend to be louder and served in different ways," Chris Hoke the Executive Creative Director for Markstein said.
Tracking cookies are everywhere. You can find them on your smartphones and laptops. Websites use them to follow your browsing history. That's how ads find you. While some are legitimate. Some can be deceptive.
"They are going to be utilizing methods like making false promises, creating ads that are hard to click out of or having ads that link to a site that is completely unrelated to the ad," Hoke said.
We're told some tracking cookies can decide if you wait to buy a product then chase you around with ads until you buy. That has raised some privacy concerns
There are ways to opt out of this type of internet advertising. One way to opt is by going here. Once there, go to "Manage my browser's Opt Out". It will then check for cookies. Another page will pop up showing all the companies that are tracking your movements. Select all of them at once then click "opt out" at the bottom. In theory, you should stop seeing those annoying ads.
To combat people blocking ads, Hoke tells us advertisers are finding more responsible user-friendly ways to send out ads making it more likely for you to click on them.
"They understand that giving consumers relevant content that actually speaks to them is a useful way in getting a customer base to click through to their product," Hoke said.
You can also opt out of ads here.
Google Chrome also offers ways to stop receiving ads. You can learn more about that here.
You can also download ad-blocking apps from iTunes or in the Google Play store for Android phones.