Sometimes when visiting a website a message appears asking me to subscribe to notifications. It looks like a pop-up but seems different. What is this called? Is there a way to prevent them from appearing? Is there a reason not to block them, if possible?
Safari> Preferences> Websites> Notifications is set to not allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications, and >Pop-up Windows is set to Block and Notify.
What am I missing?
I try to be careful about my privacy online, use PIA VPN, and do what I can to avoid ads, cookies, etc. Pop-ups and the like which require a click to dismiss appear to be a privacy/security risk. I am seeking to reduce my exposure to this type of clutter and perhaps risk.
Chris in CT
What you are seeing there is actually part of the website. It is just an element of the page. It is designed to look just like one of those dialogs that asks you if you want to get notifications, but it is just elements on the page like anything else.
Using this technique, any website can make pop-ups or dialogs appear and there's nothing Safari can do about it because technically they aren't pop-ups or dialogs at all. It is almost like how you can skip TV commercials with a DVR, but you can't do much if the a character in the show is driving a specific car or drinking a specific drink. Those ads are baked-in.
The funny thing is that if you have that setting turned off so that sites cannot ask for permission to send you notifications, then clicking Yes will not work. The next step in the process will fail quietly. At least that is the case for notifications. If you click Yes and it takes you to a page to sign up for something, well that will work, of course, but the standard notifications trigger will not.
I'm not sure I would categorize this as a privacy or security risk though. It is just an annoying aspect of some sites. If you do allow notifications, those are just notifications. They can be annoying, or can be very useful if used right in the right situation. But privacy-wise I can't think of how they would be harmful that way. And, of course, it is easy to review these in that section of Safari settings and turn them off.