As you surf the web conducting research for your business or indulging in Facebook game diversions,every move you make is being watched – well, so to speak. Your online habits are tracked and cyber-notes are made about your various likes and dislikes,ostensibly in order to deliver the most pertinent content to your taste.
This tracking is probably more pervasive than you think, with up to ten websites learning about each single visit you make to one website. In reality, all this tracking comes down to dollars and cents; you are more likely to click on advertisements that are related to your interests and hobbies, which in turn translates into you are more likely to purchase those advertised products. You can, however, go under the radar with your online habits by installing a privacy program like Ghostery.
Ghostery, available at ghostery.com, is a web extension you can easily add to virtually any browser. With Firefox and Chrome, for instance, you just click the Install button on the extension’s download page and follow the instructions. Once Ghostery is installed on your device’s browser, it still needs to be configured to work properly. The installation wizard that
pops up with an Introduction page walks you through most of the steps, but your choices for what Ghostery blocks can limit what you see online. For instance, the widely used third-party comment system Disqus is known for tracking users’ web movements, but you won’t see discussion comments if they are blocked. It’s a matter of personal preference, and you can make exceptions in your Ghostery set-up.
On the fourth screen of the installation wizard, you will see a list of Trackers with another tab for Cookies. This is where you customize your Ghostery experience. Keeping with the Disqus example, you can choose to allow it to run on all sites, block it on all sites, or limit its use to just sites where you want to view comments.