After several breaking news about larger companies who upload their address books with your data online and track your every step online, it is not a surprise for people that they are being watched. Businesses are ready to pay a lot of money for knowing everything about you, and service providers gladly grab all of it.
Is there any way for you to keep your browsing habits and history private and your person unknown for advertising agencies? In fact, you have several options to do that. But at first, let us talk about why you should even care about your personal information.
Why is personal information important?
Whenever you start talking about social media services looking over your every step, some people react funny and naive. For them, Facebook tracking their every step is not something big. They are not celebrities, and they have nothing to hide – so what if companies will be able to show them customized ads?
In reality, it goes far beyond personal adds. All the smaller pieces of your personal information are combined into one portrait to use when promoting any goods or services. They use your age and preferences, income info and location to create a particular offer just for you – the one you will not be able to resist.
Keeping them away in Chrome browser
One of the best things about Chrome is a variety of extensions you can use for uncovering websites that transmit your data, and protecting your everyday browsing.
– Adblock Plus is one of the most popular add-ons, and it has the Antisocial subscription to opt for. It keeps social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter from transmitting your data. Available for Firefox as well.
– Ghostery blocks all those invisible plugins and cookies on websites you visit. You get the chance to decide whether you allow websites to track you or not. Available for Firefox as well and goes beyond social media.
– ScriptNo for Chrome alarms you about any scripts running on the pages you are currently using. It has a drawback, though: sometimes it ‘overreacts’ and blocks half of the website functionality – be ready for such a weird experience.
– Do Not Track Plus is an extension of the originally built-in browser feature. It allows you to decide whether or not you want websites to know you came there from social media.
Keeping hackers away in Firefox
Besides the universal extensions mentioned above you can get the following ones for Firefox:
– No Script is similar to ScriptNo, and it would be the perfect choice if you are concerned about any script being started without your permission. Otherwise, take your time to teach it what you want or don’t want to see or opt for another extension.
– Priv3 is only available for Firefox and is simply blocking certain social features of the website until you interact with them.
In case you are using other browsers, keep in mind that most of these extensions have analogs to use with the different software.
What about mobile browsing?
Mobile apps are the new terra incognita, but you have couple options here as well. Be sure you have your browser on privacy mode while you are online and don’t log into unknown websites.
In case you want something bigger, try going paranoid and having separate browsers for each type of activity – one for social media, one for shopping and other personal activities.
One more tip – provide false information when you are asked for personal info. Lose a digit in your phone number or use a fake name for an application form.