Everything on the Internet is getting more personal. From targeted advertising to search engines, users are provided with a customized Internet experience based on things like their location, search history and websites visited.
Internet companies can track users via cookies – text files that a website stores on your computer after visiting the site – and other advanced methods.
While this may ensure online users are getting better information there are many concerns about the invasion of a user’s privacy from all the data collected about them by websites and apps.
Most of the popular Internet browsers come bundled with anti-tracking features and tools that many users may not be aware of, and can be helpful in minimizing the amount of information it’s collecting about you while browsing.
Here you can find step-by-step instructions on how to activate web tracking protection on major Internet browsers.
To enable tracking protection in Firefox, use the following steps:
Launch the Firefox application.
- Click on the Menu button, which is at the top right-hand corner of the toolbar, and represented by three horizontal lines.
- In the drop-down menu that comes up, click on Preferences, then click on Privacy and Security.
- Scroll down and always click on the Tracking Protection section.
To enable the Do Not Track feature in Google Chrome, follow these steps:
Open the Google Chrome browser
- At the top right-hand corner of the toolbar, there is the Menu button, which is represented by three dots. Click on it.
- Scroll down to the advanced section, then on the Privacy and Security subsection. Then, toggle the Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic switch on.
To activate the Do Not Track feature in the Opera browser for desktop, the following steps should be taken:
Open the Opera browser
- Click on the Settings icon and go to Privacy & Security.
- Enable the Send a “Do Not Track” request with my browsing traffic.
Unlike the other web browsers, the Safari browser is only available on Apple devices (computers, smartphones, and other devices that can browse).
To turn on web tracking protection in Safari, the following steps should be taken:
Launch the Safari web browser and go to the Preference settings.
Click on the Privacy tab and check the “Ask websites not to track me” checkbox.
In addition to the Do Not Track features of these browsers, users can browse using private windows or incognito modes where your browsing sessions are kept private — the browsers do not collect a browsing history.
Bonus: Disconnect Private Browsing Add-on
Although activating web tracking protection on your web browser is a good step, it is still left to some of the websites to accept the request. To be extra sure you are not being tracked, you can try a free plug-in for browsers called Disconnect.
Disconnect Private Browsing is a free extension available for all browsers that prevents websites and third parties from tracking your browsing experience.
The add-on is easy to download and use. Just go to https://disconnect.me
and download it. Disconnect works by automatically checking when your browser is trying to connect to a different website from the one you are currently visiting and stops it.