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How to Maintain your Privacy Online

2015-01-21_1552

I've always said that the web changes quickly.  The tools, methods, and capabilities of online tools never cease to evolve.

One area that is really evolving is online ads and the technology behind them that tracks, learns, watches, and educates companies on your behavior online.  Yes, being anonymous online is not as easy as one might think!

For advertisers, not only is the information we search for of value, but the way we search, what we search for, and how we purchase is valuable information also. Services exist to track a user's activity, generally for the purposes of then having advertisements targeted towards that user that is specific based on the information gleaned.

But what if you don't want to be tracked? What if you don't want to see advertisements via Google and Facebook about the type of iced tea you drink or the tires you need after visiting a website for each? Fortunately, there exist options to identify, monitor, and stop these trackers. Ghostery and other web browser extensions like it will block websites from embedding code that either tracks or advertises or both. Then you can browse the web, and not worry about your click data being sold to some company.   It's a choice you can make based on the information here!

What is Ghostery?

Ghostery blocks trackers and ads. This is what it claims, and this is what it does.  With Ghostery, you get to choose whether you want to block tracker by tracker, site-by-site, or a mixture of the two.  The service also allows you to pause blocking for those moments when you're ok with a particular site tracking you.  It offers a robust free version as well as a paid enterprise edition for large businesses.

All Ghostery requires for use is a supported web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and more) and installation on the browser for all basic features to be accessible.

Ghostery Won't slow you down

Like most popular browser extensions, Ghostery doesn't require a massive amount of a computer's resources to function. Average users should not notice their pages load any slower or their systems functioning at a lower rate than usual after installation. This software is kept up to date by a dedicated, professional development team.

The bottom line about Ghostery

Blocking trackers is generally a good idea. However, some webpages rely on them heavily or have software to detect when a user is blocking ad and tracking requests. This means that some websites can misbehave, and not display as they were intended to, which can lead to a slightly worse experience for the user.

Ghostery is a powerful extension for keeping privacy under control on the web. It has some drawbacks, (some of which are worse than others), these can generally be fixed by the user playing around with the settings of the extension. It's certainly worth trying out if you've been looking for a tool to help you maintain more privacy online.

 

 

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