We benefit from what the web has to offer every day. Most users are used to watching videos on Youtube or searching for something using Google search. What the user might not know is that their search or video history is carefully gathered and stored by the same service. What is the reason for that and is it possible to disable that feature? In this article we will continue exploring the topic of online tracking.
Most modern web browsers offer a “Do Not Track” feature. This small feature asks the website’s owner not to track the user each time they enter certain a webpage. It is safe to say that there are a substantial amount of users who know what web-tracking is and how marketing companies use cookie files to track a user’s activity and deliver ads to them. Fortunately, many modern web browsers can send do not track requests.
The Tricky Part
Activating DNT in your browser does not necessarily mean you will never see a single ad again. The feature itself is only a recommendation that someone on the other side can take into account but not necessarily stop tracking the activity. The number of concerned Internet users is constantly growing. More than 18% of all users do not want to be tracked. On the other hand, marketing companies claim that users have to pay the price for free services they use everyday; giving away private usage data is one way of paying that price.
DNT is good but not perfect. As a rule, it offers pretty basic functionality unlike the Ghostery browser extension which was reviewed in one of our previous post Top 10 Secure Web Browser Extensions. It can detect and block tracking cookies and other tools used by different Web Analytics programs.
How Big Internet Companies handle the Issue
Back in 2012, Google announced that they would gather information about the user from all Google services used. This included Google Plus, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome accounts, Google Drive/Docs and many more. They basically build a profile on each user combining the information from different sources. The official reason for doing this is to improve search algorithms and serve more relevant results. The feature, however, cannot be disabled (even temporarily).
We have covered all of the Google tracking services in our previous posts and will not talk about those now. Privatoria, however, offers some useful hints on how to delete some of your Google usage data.
Here are some examples of the things you can do to reduce Google’s records about yourself:
Clear YouTube watch history
Tweak your Google Plus settings
Disable location and restrict EXIF data uploads.
Check Google Ads settings
Go to settings and click “opt out” to disallow sending your personal data and browsing history to marketing companies.
Google Search History
Go to Google Search settings and click “Turn off”. Also, delete the previously recorded history. To do that, simply select all of the items and remove them.
Official statements from Facebook say they will not provide third parties with your private info, photos or other content which can be viewed on your Facebook profile page.
You can, however, take some precautions if you do not completely trust this service with your info. Go to “Settings”>Advertisement>Edit. Choose “Nobody” and save changes. If you do not want to see ads based on your friend’s usage data, choose “Nobody” in the “Advertisement and friends” section.
It is pretty easy to disable ads in Twitter. Go to “Settings”>”Security and Privacy”. Unclick “Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits ” and “Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners”. Save changes and exit.
A perfect solution for those who seek ultimate web security and privacy
Privatoria offers a reliable solution to stop web tracking, encrypt your traffic and protect your online data.
Check our bundle of online security services:
– Secure VPN & Proxy to ensure anonymity and privacy of online surfing
– Secure chat for confidential online communications
– Secure E-mail to handle your mailing needs
– Secure Cloud Storage to keep your precious data in a safe place
– Secure DNS as an alternative to public DNS servers that can gather usage data
Our VPN service will make your location anonymous and encrypt your Internet traffic. You will still see ads but those will not be based on your search history or YouTube videos you have watched.
Some of the prominent benefits are:
– 256-bit AES traffic encryption
– Servers in different countries around the world
– integrated Tor options (no Tor browser is needed to use it)
– easy configuration procedure
In the age of Internet it can be hard to preserve your privacy. Services that track you claim they do it for your own good often leaving you with no choice other than to disable that feature. Fortunately, there are some tools that you can use to reduce tracking or even leave advertisers in complete darkness. One of those such tools is Privatoria VPN or Proxy.
Try them out today using a free trial option!
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