Netizens looking to protect their privacy have many options. The choices for online safety are so numerous that they can be daunting. For someone looking to guard their online identity, the prospect seems expensive and time-consuming. You don’t need to waste your dime or your time protecting yourself online. This handy guide will show you the top three tips to avoid online trackers for a more secure browsing experience.
Tips To Stop Trackers in Their Tracks
Being tracked online is near the top of most people’s internet privacy concerns. Websites, advertisers, and even some ISPs use trackers for various reasons, much to the chagrin of security-minded users. Before you spend hundreds of hours and dollars on pricey security solutions, there are simple tips to block these nasty online trackers.
Tossing Tracking Cookies
During the early 90’s most people didn’t talk much about browser cookies. It wasn’t until cookies became widely used for tracking that it started to raise eyebrows. The primary purpose of a web cookie is to store persistent data. This data could be anything that the website requires.
Cookies are not innately harmful, and many websites rely on cookies. There is, however, a specific cookie called a “tracking cookie” designed to track user behaviour. Tracking cookies can log a surprising amount of detail, including:
- Links you click on
- Search terms
- Time spent on a page
- Advertisements viewed
Combining the data from tracking cookies with other methods can build a detailed user profile. The good news is that it is relatively easy to block tracking cookies through your preferred web browser. Most browsers have an option labelled Do Not Track somewhere in their settings. But the Do Not Track option is only a request; websites are under no obligation to honour that setting. The better option to block tracking cookies is via browser extensions. Many free options are available for nearly every browser (AdGuard, ABP, Badger), which can effectively stop tracking cookies in their tracks.
Banishing Web Beacons
Similar to cookies, beacons were never a concern in the early days of the net. A web beacon is a typically invisible page element that forces your device to acknowledge that you’ve viewed a page. The most common type of web beacon is the pixel tracker. This beacon type is a small page object or image, usually one pixel in size, and is either transparent or matching the background colour. Even though a pixel tracker is invisible to the human eye, your computer sees it like any other element on a web page. When your device downloads the page, it downloads the pixel tracker.
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Like cookies, you can prevent web beacons and pixel trackers at the browser level by using extensions. Many of the same ad-blocking extensions which block cookies also work for stopping beacons. While ad blockers will work for normal web browsing, they won’t work for things like e-mail. Indeed, your email is as vulnerable as web browsing.
Unfortunately, the most fool-proof way to block pixel trackers across services is to disable scripts and images for email and web pages. Most e-mail programs will not load remote images by default, but you should verify this in your email program’s settings.
Disabling images on your web browser can be more problematic. While nearly every browser has the option not to display pictures, it renders most websites almost unusable. Thankfully, there is a better way.
Use A Proxy To Be Tracker Free
A proxy is an ideal solution for the most anonymous browsing experience without the hassle of ad-blockers or disabled images. A proxy will sit in between your device and the server and relay information, giving you complete anonymity on the internet. Proxies can also act effectively as content filters, blocking harmful scripts and beacons from even reaching your device. A proxy can be set up at the device, operating system, or router level, protecting every device and application on your network. This network scope saves you countless hours of configuring each device and app independently.
Once merely the tool of large corporations, proxies are now an affordable security option for everyone. Proxy providers such as IPRoyal, even offer pay-as-you-go, no-contract pricing.
When you need rock-solid security at home or the best mobile proxy protection on the go, there’s no reason to compromise on quality.
Protecting Your Privacy Is as Easy as One, Two, Three
With these three tips in your privacy arsenal, you can be confident about your online security. Today’s world requires diligence and care in safeguarding your online activities, but with a bit of preparation, guarding your safety is not an impossible task. And with something as valuable as your privacy, it’s a step (or three) worth taking.