Update: While NoScript is a powerful tool, it is also a very complicated tool and hard to use. After I had used it for while, I realized that the safety it gave me was not worth the hassle of manually setting permissions for everything; not to mention that many useful sites (like banking websites) were broken unless I disabled NoScript. I think this manually-intensive permission setting by the user is also why Windows Vista failed so miserably.
Instead of NoScript, I would like to recommend a very user-friendly plugin called Adblock Plus. Adblock Plus cuts down on the popups and ads without hassling me at all. Just use Firefox to browse to the Adblock Plus website, hit the green “Install Adblock Plus” button, and when Firefox restarts, accept the default Adblock Plus subscription setting. The subscription provides a blacklist which eliminates the need for Adblock Plus to prompt you to block content.
Safe Internet Browsing with NoScript (Original Posting Follows)
If you use Firefox, there is a great Firefox add-on called NoScript which makes internet browsing much safer with your cooperation.
Once you have NoScript installed, when you go to a website, you will see at the bottom of Firefox a line bar with the Options button on the right. If you trust the website (such as www.bankamerica.com), then click on the Options button and select “Allow bankamerica.com”. From then on, executable content on that website will always be allowed to run.
If the page doesn’t look right, you can also temporarily allow the executable content to run by clicking on the Options button and selecting “Temporarily allow <website_url>”. If you come back to the website later, the executable content will not be allowed to run.
NoScript can make browsing a lot safer, but it can be a hassle at the beginning because you have to give permission for each website. Unfortunately, some web pages host executable content from different websites so you may have to give permission to two or three websites before the web page shows up okay.