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Privacy Tools: How to Block Online Tracking

It is a little known secret that many websites, including most popular ones employ online trackers to assess and find out what your online habits are. This habit is encouraged by companies who will shell out big money to service providers on the web, to learn as much as they can about you. To keep these pesky trackers at bay and safeguard your privacy, you’ll soon know how to block online tracking tools from snooping around you.

Why online security tools should matter to you

Big companies and corporations pay big money to learn about potential markets and they see you as a potential customer. Your income figures, online habits, age demographics and more are all likely sitting in a database somewhere that’s being used by companies trying to sell you their products. This is usually done by questionnaires, campaigns and more for users to fill, with coupons and discounts their rewards for time spent filling up a few forms. This results in user-specific ads that seem to know what your interests are and cater specifically to what you are inclined to being interested in.

There is no tangible reward to you giving up your information, even if you’re okay with trackers collecting data about you. You aren’t even being included in the decision of gaining all these details about you. It is entirely in your best interests that you take control of your privacy and avoid online tracking.

How to block Online Tracking

The following list contains add-ons and extensions for your browser, making for a reliable set of tools for online security as well.

AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus is an add-on for your browser which blocks trackers, banners, intrusive pop-up adverts, malware feeding websites and more. It is a crucial add-on for your browser and it’s recommended that you install it straight-away if you don’t have it already.

AdBlock Plus puts an end to websites like Twitter, Facebook and more from gathering and sharing data about you. Content you deem annoying can also be blocked on regularly visited websites, making for a better online experience. Viruses, adware, malware and other intrusions also face a huge first hurdle in trying to infect your PC/hack you, making AdBlock Plus one of the fundamental tools for online security.

Ghostery

Ghostery is another popular add-on which can detect all the online trackers on any given web page you are looking into. Quite simply, you’ll be shown a list of all the trackers on the website you’re on and the analysis also includes social widgets, analytical trackers that look into your usage, advertising and more. Ghostery has dedicated developers and a constantly growing database of trackers of which there are over 2000. That’s over 2000 trackers to keep your privacy safe from.

You can also access the add-on’s settings to whitelist websites or block specific trackers or widgets while allowing others to function. All these functions and more make Ghostery one of the most used add-ons across PC, Mac, Android and iOS platforms to prevent online tracking.

Disconnect

Disconnect is yet another add-on which is similar to Ghostery but it follows a more measured approach. While it still blocks trackers, the add-on also lets you know with a request when certain widgets or trackers are required to load the content on the webpage or website you’re accessing.

Disconnect classifies trackers in four categories, namely:

  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Social
  • Content

Disconnect also claims to save bandwidth and also claims to save time taken to load a website with all the unnecessary, unrequired elements of the web page being blocked immediately by Disconnect.

Conclusion

Now that you’re know how to block online tracking, we recommend installing the above add-ons to your browser. Not only do they help you safeguard your privacy, you’ll quickly realize that having the add-ons installed makes for a better browsing experience altogether, while you’re on the internet.

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