Employing the Windows Hosts file to prevent a PC from connecting to undesirable web addresses is a very old practice that is still being used by some as a security measure or to block ads and cookies. Experienced PC users will be familiar with the Hosts file but, if it is a new concept to you, you can read about how this simple text file works at this link. You should also look at what Gizmo wrote about the file in his newsletter ten years ago.
The Hosts file has its drawbacks and is not for everyone. Personally, I have experimented with using Hosts files in the past but have always ended up abandoning their use. Nonetheless, it is frequently mentioned as a security or privacy measure and it is worthwhile to know what it is. An application of the Hosts file to block Google ads is described by Gizmo here.
If you are familiar with the Hosts file and are interested in using one, a good source is this link.The link provides an up-to-date Hosts file with a collection of undesirable web addresses that it blocks. There is also useful information about how Host files work. Because antivirus programs often regard a change to the Hosts file as a malware attack, there are specific instructions on how to install the augmented Hosts file in various versions of Windows.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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