Protect Your Privacy While Surfing the Web, pt 1
There are many way companies track your information while you’re surfing the web. While they’re tracking your information, you want to protect your privacy. The main way they keep track of your information is through “cookies,” which is a small piece of code (crumb – following analogy of cookie) on your computer when you visit a site. These cookies are left when you click on ads. Every time¬†you visit the site where you clicked an ad, they track what you click on and show you ads related to what you click on. There are HUGE tracking companies like “Doubleclick,” who consolidate data from thousands of websites, and your web surfing habits are on their servers. ¬†None of these cookies are actually harmful to your computer, they’re just a major violation of your policy.
Following are some plug-ins you can use to customize your web browser to either erase these cookies or block them in the first place. I’ll only be covering these 3 Internet browsers – Google Chrome,¬†¬†Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. ¬†About 95% of the clients we visit use one of these browsers – whether they’re on Mac or Windows. FYI – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has plug-ins as well.
We’ll discuss Google Chrome in Pt. 1 and Firefox/Safari¬†in Pt. 2.
Windows/Mac: Ad Block
This is one of my favorite extension of all time – it blocks ads as they name says so clearly – both the flashy kind and still kind (as in images). ¬†If you’re signed up with a freemail service like Hotmail, Gmail, AOLmail, Yahoo mail and hate all those ads – this will make your email viewing a lot more enjoyable. Word of warning:¬†Occasionally¬†it will block content you need. If you feel this is the case, click on icon of stop sign on your extension bar in upper right corner and tell it “Don’t run on this page.” ¬†It even blocks the text ads to the side of your google AND those annoying ads on Facebook!!¬†Oh, BTW, if you use this extension – give the guy $10 – it’s his full-time job keeping this program great!!
Windows Only: Click & Clean is a very powerful extension that prevents cookies as well as does malware scans. It’s extremely powerful and thorough and has tons of¬†features.
Going¬†Incognito¬†on Google Chrome
Click on Wrench in the upper right corner, click “New¬†Incognito¬†Window,” which will give you a totally private web browsing experience.¬†Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.
As previously mentioned, we’ll be covering Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari Browser’s tomorrow.
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