Some recent tweets have caused me to write this article:
10 COM @10comm
Guide to digital advertising industry that’s watching your every click (watch out, 16 data-trackers on website…)theatlantic.com/technology/arc…
@10comm The @Ghostery extension blocks 15 of of the #trackers from The naughty Atlantic, not sure which one it’s missed (?) cc @TheAtlantic
10 COM @10comm
@awbMaven Here @Ghostery blocks all 16. Alas, we belong to the 0,1% who knows… @TheAtlantic could use innovative newspaper biz model.
The reply from @Ghostery was that “Sometimes blocking one tracker will prevent another from loading”
Ghostery is not the only extension a web-surfer can use to block a list of trackers, indeed, it may not even be the best one. Because I am no expert in these things, I feel it is best to utilise a whole host of anti-tracking extensions in my browser, and have them all active at the same time. Here is my list which you can then use to search for & add the extension in your own browser:
A Little Privacy
Adblock Plus (Beta)
AVG Do Not Track
Do Not Track Plus
FlashBlock (yes, two of them, slightly different)
Keep My Opt-Outs
Keep MORE Opt Outs
ScriptNo (this one takes time to set up and is technical, but is well worth the effort)
Go to the Spanner in Chrome, and under ‘Settings‘ [you will have to ‘Show Advanced settings” to see them all] make sure the following are UNTICKED:
‘Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors‘
‘Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar‘
‘Predict network actions to improve page load performance‘
‘Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google‘
Make sure ‘Enable phishing and malware protection‘ is TICKED.
Still on the ‘Under the Bonnet‘ page, click ‘Content settings‘. Make sure ‘Allow local data to be set for the current session only‘ is choosen. Make sure ‘Block third-party cookies from being set‘ is TICKED, and ‘Clear cookies and other site and plug-in data when I close my browser‘ is TICKED. Now, before you leave ‘Under the Bonnet‘:
‘Clear browsing data…‘. ‘Obliterate‘ the following items from ‘the beginning of time‘. I set the top 4 boxes as TICKED and then press ‘Clear browsing data‘.
One more thing to do when on the ‘Under the Bonnet‘ page, scroll down and UNTICK ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed‘.
That’s it for your browser. I think it’s a pretty good layer of protection against trackers and ads. I have to say, when I use other computers & web-browsers that I have not set up as above, I am horrified at the amount of junk that appears on my screen, and wonder at the amount of tracking that is going on behind the scenes because this one-time-setup has not been implemented on said web-browser <shudder>.
Additionally to the above personal surfing security, give some severe though regarding signing up to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) provider which encrypts your surfing and make it hard (I dare not use “impossible”) for prying eyes to see what your up to whether it be researching car insurance, or arguing with the European Commission about privacy & surveillance issues.
I would love to hear others opinions though as to learn is to grow.
Thanks for reading.