My Blog: Your web activity is being tracked! Some simple ways I employ to stop being tracked. So, enlarge the ‘0,1% who knows’.

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…

A.Wood.B.Maven @awbMaven
@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

Disconnect

Do Not Track Plus

DuckDuckGo

Flashblock

FlashBlock (yes, two of them, slightly different)

Ghostery

HTTPS Everywhere

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)

I use all the above with Chrome or (even better,) Iron, together with AVG Safe Search, and Xmarks Bookmark Sync. There are other settings in Chrome/Iron which I utilise.

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 UNTICKContinue 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.

Sincerely,

awbMaven

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3 Responses to My Blog: Your web activity is being tracked! Some simple ways I employ to stop being tracked. So, enlarge the ‘0,1% who knows’.

  1. Don Gibson says:

    Well, I can’t argue with much of that at all! VPN is something else though – whilst it may guard against man in the middle attacks, it certainly doesn’t against compromised machines at either end (virtual or not!). Maybe a piece for the next blog?

  2. awbmaven says:

    Yes Don, I think I will update the article at some point with reference to other applications one can use for security, such as anti-virus [AVG], anti-malware [Malwarebytes] , and anti-spyware [Spybot S&D] technologies, also helpful tools to keep a system updated and lean [Glary Utilities, CCleaner, Autoruns, TrueCrypt, and Secunia PSI).

    Hmm, I think I have just updated the thread indirectly with the above list 🙂

    If you can think of other ways a layperson can fairly easily keep safe, I would welcome your comments on this thread, or a link to your own blog perhaps?

  3. Guesswho says:

    In addition to yours, I also use:
    USING GOOGLE WITHOUT BEING TRACKED BY GOOGLE: https://startpage.com/ (SIMILAR TO DUCKDUCK BUT MIGHT BE BETTER)
    SECURING CONNECTIONS WITH OPENDNS CRYPT: https://www.opendns.com/technology/dnscrypt/
    chrome extensions:
    HEADER HACKER, M86 SECURITY, ADBLOCK+, COOKIES, EDIT THIS COOKIE, FACEOOK ADBLOCK, FORGET ME, GEO LOCATION, IP GEOLOCATOR, KB SSL ENFORCER AND BROWSER BUTTON, MANUAL GEOLOCATION, NORTON IDENTITY PROTECTION, PASSWORDFAIL EXTENSION, PROXY2K, REDIRECTOR, REFERER CONTROL, SAFE & SECURE BROWSING SSL MODE, SAFE ID, SCRIPTNO, CREDIT CARD NANNY, DNNSEC VALIDATOR, SERVER IP, BITDEFENDER TRAFFICLIGHT, ULTIMATE USER AGENT SWITCHER AND URL SNIFFER.
    I’m even more paranoid than you.
    Is never enough, BTW.

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