I’ve long used the ClickToPlugin extension in Safari to prevent plug-ins from loading on web pages. This blocks Flash and other media plug-ins from running, and shows you a placeholder when you load a page with an element that is blocked.
It’s especially useful to block those annoying, moving Flash ads that serve no purpose other than to distract you from reading a web page.
If you do want to load the Flash animation, just click it. (Well, don’t click the one above; it’s just a screenshot.)
As Graham Cluley points out in his security blog, this plug-in can also protect you from Flash zero-day vulnerabilities that can infect your computer; since Flash can’t run, the vulnerability can’t be exploited. Sometimes, the Flash animations that serve malware are tiny, and you don’t even see them.
There are two versions of the plug-in: ClickToFlash, that only blocks Flash, and ClickToPlugin, that blocks other media player plug-ins, and that also tries to force the plug-in to switch to Safari’s built-in HTML5 media player.
This saves time, battery power and bandwidth, and keeps your annoyance level low. And it protects you from annoying Flash animations.
You may simply want to uninstall Flash; you can do that, but you may find that you actually need it from time to time. I find this to be the best solution: I can load the Flash animations if I want to, but, if not, I’m not bothered.
If you use a browser other than Safari, see Graham Cluley’s article for links to plug-ins that work in other browsers.