Ever have a lazy Saturday morning browsing the web on your iPhone and come across some obvious click-bait link to show you ’20 of the Most Influential Cats in History’ or ‘You’ll Never Believe What This Albino Alligator Was Doing.’ (Not real headlines, but admit it, you’d click on them.) In a moment of weakness or by ‘accident’ you tap on the link only to get this:

iphone screenshot1

Anyone who has ever come across one of these knows that they are a pain to deal with. You can’t close it or go to another page. Closing the app altogether doesn’t work because Apple doesn’t re-set the browser in the same way when closing the internet on a desktop. Even re-starting your phone won’t solve the problem. You are stuck.

Before you call tech support (your tech savvy relative), have a read of our quick guide:iphone screenshot3

  1. Whatever you do, DON’T tap ‘OK’. You won’t win anything, it’s a scam and it could very well be a phishing scheme that could compromise your phone. You simply don’t know, so don’t touch it.
  2. Open a trusted email with an internet link.
  3. Click on any link and an internet page will open.
  4. Touch the multiple window icon in the lower right corner.
  5. Close the offending window or Close all the windows if you aren’t sure which one it is.

OR

  1. Put your phone on airplane modeiphone screenshot2
  2. Open Safari and close the windows

OR

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Safari
  3. Scroll down then tap ‘Clear Cookies and Data’

*Update 31/3/16 – I came across another of these pop-ups which was more aggressive than the last and the only strategy which worked was to clear the cookies and data.

 

Further Reading:

How Gmail is Saving Us From Ourselves – a guide to un-sending emails.

What is Phishing and How it Can Be Avoided

Top 7 Pitfalls That Make You Vulnerable to Hackers