How to prevent advertisers from tracking you online
Online advertising is a necessary evil of the Internet. For most pages, the only way to be able to offer free content is to generate revenue through ads that hopefully show relevant products to the reader.
It is true, however, that it can be somewhat scary when, after searching for something on one page, related ads appear on another. This is due to the tracking technology that websites and advertisers use to encourage you to buy a product. Here are the tips to prevent advertisers from tracking you online.
1. Remove personalized ads in Google apps
Google is the world’s leading search engine, so it should come as no surprise that it is the world’s leading search engine, too. Luckily, the company at least allows you to disable that tracking.
On your computer, you must access your Google account by opening Google Chrome and clicking on the icon with your image in the upper right corner. There, you can already choose the option ‘ Manage your Google account ‘.
If you want to access from a smartphone or tablet , you must open the Google app (or install it first if you don’t already have it), tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner and tap on ‘ Manage your Google account ‘.
In both cases, you must select the ‘ Data and personalization ‘ tab . Scroll down until you find the option ‘ Personalization of Ads ‘. Tap on ‘ Go to Ad Settings ‘ and there you can disable the option.
Once you have done this, all devices that you are logged in with the same account must use Google’s ad tracking technology. Now this is not the only system that tracks your online activities. In this way you can prevent advertisers from tracking you online.
2. Block third-party cookies
One of the ways in which online advertising companies manage to track you while you browse the web is by adding cookies on your device. These allow the page to “remember” what you have visited. If you want, you can avoid it.
In Google Chrome, open the settings menu by clicking on the icon with three vertical dots in the upper right corner and select ‘ Settings ‘. Then click on ‘ Privacy and security ‘, followed by ‘ Website settings ‘.
Choosing the ‘ Cookies ‘ option will open a list of actions. Click on ‘ Block cookies from other websites ‘. Thus, you will have already got rid of another very common method of tracking the navigation of Internet users.
If you use a web browser other than Google Chrome, you should find similar settings in the Privacy section. Of course, remember that in any case you will not have got rid of the ads, only the tracking of your searches.
3. Activate ‘Do not track’ in your browser
Most browsers offer a tool similar to what Google calls ‘Don’t track’. This will ask the websites not to track your browsing, but you should know that this does not force the pages to do so.
In any case, we recommend that you have it activated just in case. In Chrome, you can access the settings by clicking on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and selecting the ‘ Settings ‘ option .
In the ‘ Privacy and security ‘ section, you should find the option ‘ Send a no-follow request with your browsing traffic ‘. Turn it off. In other browsers, the deactivation process should be similar.
4. Browse privately
Another very useful tool to avoid tracking is to browse privately . For this you must take advantage of the incognito mode in the browser. In Chrome, you can do it by selecting ‘ New incognito window ‘ by touching the icon with three dots.
All browsers offer a similar tool. This will prevent your usage from being tracked online. Now, keep in mind that if you log into your social networks or Google, your identity could be exposed. In this way you can avoid or prevent advertisers from tracking you online.
5. Use anti-tracking browser extensions
Adding a privacy plugin or extension to your browser is another way to avoid tracking. There are many available, with Ghostery and Privacy Badger being two of the most popular.
Many of them will serve to block those annoying ads that you do not want to see when browsing. Of course, keep in mind that doing so will prevent your favorite websites from making money with them and this could be harmful to your business (and subsistence).
6. Use a secure browser
Some browsers prioritize privacy more than others. This is the case of Firefox, which uses Enhanced Tracking Protection to prevent web pages from monitoring your behavior.
So, if you want to browse without worries, you should bet on Firefox . However, there are other browsers dedicated to privacy, such as the Brave (based on Chrome) or the popular Tor.
Some of the aforementioned desktop extensions are also available in mobile browsers, including Ghostery . The same goes for DuckDuckGo or Firefox Focus .