Privacy is a huge issue on the web. Today, we’ll talk about options you have to opt out of being tracked by advertisers and how to enable this feature on Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
First, you should know that even if you follow these steps to disable tracking, websites still have the option to track you – or not. It depends on the integrity of the company. Not surprisingly, Facebook doesn’t let anyone opt out of tracking. In fact, they can still track you when you’re logged out of Facebook. Twitter announced today (5-17-12), that they will honor Mozilla Firefox’s opt out. So if you use Twitter on Firefox and have the box checked, your wanderings on the web will not be tracked and you’ll not get the third-party cookies on your computer. Most likely, Twitter will also honor opt outs from Chrome and IE in the next few months.
How To Opt Out of Tracking
There’s not a setting in the browser, instead go to the Chrome App Store and type in the search box, ‘Keep My Opt-Outs’ and install it by following the prompts. There’s another app called ‘Keep MORE Opt Outs’. I read a little about this app. I believe this one actually lets you know (via pop-up), who is trying to track you. I read how some really like it, some thinks it slows them down and some had problems with it working properly, so do some research.
This was the easiest of the three. Simply go to Tools>Options>Privacy and check the box.
Internet Explorer 9
It seems that Microsoft makes things difficult compared to everyone else, and it’s no different here. It’s different in that there’s not just a click in the box or an app install. The steps are below. Don’t go to your browser ‘Tools’ drop down like I did, go way over to the right to the Tools icon and then…
When you get the tracking protection box pop-up (below), the right side will be blank because Microsoft makes you go through a list a choose different lists to be a part of. So you’ll want to click the ‘Get a Tracking Protection List online’.
Then you’re taken to a website where you can start scrolling through all the lists. I just clicked some randomly and was glad to see there’s a stop Google list. I think with this extra work we do to add these lists, maybe they are more effective – at least I hope so.
So, take a few minutes and update your favorite browser to the do not track settings. If you have any tips to add, please leave a comment.