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How to Stop Being Tracked by Your Web Browser

If you’ve spent any time online in the last few years, you will have probably noticed advertisements following you around as you browse the internet.

Stop Being Tracked by Browsers

Your private information and online activity has become a big business for many companies today. Your search history, the YouTube videos you watch, and the articles you read all have an impact on how advertisers tailor content to you.

And while it’s pretty much impossible to remove yourself from the grid completely without smashing all your electronics, here are a few options to reduce the bank of your information available for advertisers to use.

Go into Incognito Mode

If you’re more concerned about the short term effects of searching online try incognito browsing.

Most major web browsers used today feature a private browsing setting, usually referred to as ‘Incognito Mode’. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, all have this setting which doesn’t record your history and helps deter those pesky ad-tracking cookies. 

If you’re using Google Chrome, you can press Ctrl + Shift + N (or ⌘ + Shift + N on Mac) to open a new incognito window.

Turn Off Google Tracking

Most of the tracking that Google does is simple enough to turn off, but few users realize they’re being tracked to begin with. Not sure what your information you’re letting Google learn from you? Check out Google’s Activity Tracking page!

From this page you can edit what Google records, including Web & App Activity, Location History, Voice & Audio Activity, YouTube Search History, and YouTube Watch History.

You can also stop Google from doing personalized advertisements at the bottom of the Activity Controls page. 

Google is just one of the many companies that creates personalized advertising based on your online activity. You can find the controls for these other networks under Your Online Choices on the Ad Personalization page.

Try a Different Web Browser

The Google Chrome browser is used by over 60% of the market and like many of the other major web browsers it features some form of tracking your online data. However, there are a few alternatives to these major browsers that focus entirely on your privacy.

Tor Project

The Tor Project is the best private web browser available. Used by the US Navy because it’s so secure, Tor protects your location, browser history, personal data, and online messages from anybody or anything that’s logging your online activity.

Tor is a portable app that doesn’t require you to install software and can live on a USB stick.

Which means you can take advantage of private web browsing on whatever computer you’re using, even in your local library.

How to Stop Being Tracked by Your Web Browser

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Epic Browser

Epic Browser doesn’t make use of a specialized onion network like Tor does, but it does disable most of the common ways your privacy is compromised when you’re online.

Epic won’t save your history, won’t allow third-party cookies, and there are no web or DNS caches or autofill features. Once you’re done online and close your browser window, Epic will automatically delete any collected data, preferences, cookies, and more.

Use a VPN

It's quite hard to find high-quality web browsers that focus on protecting your privacy online. If you truly want to enjoy anonymous browsing online, you should pair your private web browser with a reputable Virtual Private Network.

Luckily for us there are lots of free VPNs available on the internet, but if you’re looking for real privacy you’ll want to shell out the cash and pay for one. ExpressVPN is known as a trustworthy VPN and it remains relatively cheap with plans for under $15/month.

Confuse them with Track This!

Track This! Is made by Mozilla, the creators of Firefox, and is meant to help confuse internet trackers. It opens 100 tabs to fool data collectors into thinking you're someone else. Choose from a few personas (Hypebeast, Filthy Rich, Doomsday, or Influencer) and watch as the ads following you change to irrelevant products and services.

While this is a fun way to mess with advertisers tracking your web activity, after a while of using the internet like you usually would those tailored ads will return to haunt you.

Brought to you by Custom Fit Online - web hosting and digital marketing specialists.

Stay safe online kids! Remember to look both ways before you cross the internet!

Harlen Malkowich
Jun 27, 2019
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