Ever been on your phone and the website you’re on creates a pop-up ad that just won’t let you go back to the original page – even with the back button? Instead it just reloads the same page over and over, keeping you trapped on the ad page.

This annoying tactic is known as “back button hijacking”, and it’s a common trick used by websites with dubious advertising sources.

One way to try and get around this on an iPhone is to tap a link from an email or iMessage to have Safari open a new page. Then you simply swipe away the annoying ad.

You can also try to clear the browser cache. You can do this under “Preferences/Safari/Privacy & Security” with a tap on “Clear history and website data”.

If nothing else helps, you can force Safari to close by swiping from the bottom edge of the display upwards and holding your finger in the middle of the screen. Then swipe right or left through carousel of running apps to find Safari and swipe the app preview upwards to close it.

The workaround for a back button hijack for Android is similar, although it varies from browser to browser. It’s easiest with with the Chrome browser, where a long press on the back button reveals a list of recently visited pages. You just have to select the page you want to return to. – dpa


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