One of the most common things on websites lately is the appearance of a series of small third-party scripts such as sharing buttons, statistics software or advertisements, for example.
Normally this type of elements do not represent any danger, and even some contribute really interesting things.
Although we must make it clear that this is not always the case.
First of all something obvious, the speed of the web. In certain cases, between ads and widgets you can stay waiting a while to load a page in its entirety.
There is also a drawback with privacy, especially something that makes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Googley others can access information about pages you’ve visited thanks to the above scripts.
In addition, the ads are left, making the loading much slower and, sometimes, with too much information about the common use that you give to your computer. Also, in many cases this is annoying and counterproductive, so it is advisable to be properly informed on how to avoid tracking on the Internet, especially to improve your browsing experience and without any fear.
- Browse privately and delete cookies
Later we will review a series of extensions and/or plugins to deal with these cases, however, there is also a way to improve control over the web without having to opt for extra software, but only with the configuration of the browser. The easiest way is to always start in private browsing, but there is also the disadvantage that the browsing history becomes invalid.
You also have the option to delete cookies automatically when you close your browser. Thus, you will be avoiding the storage of a large number of cookies throughout your entire browsing experience, making it more difficult – though not impossible – to track on the Internet. In exchange, you may lose the possibility of sites remembering your account and password (in some cases), having to log in every time you open your browser.
- Firefox: go to the Options menu, then go to the Privacy tab. In the History section, choose Custom Settings and change the option to keep cookies to Until Firefox closes.
- Chrome: in the Settings click on the option Show advanced options. In the first section, i.e. the Privacy section, click on the Content Settings button and there change the button from Cookies to Save local data until you close the browser.
- Opera: enter the Preferences and go to the Advanced tab, in the Cookies section activate the option to Delete cookies when exiting Opera.
Control who’s following you
In order to know the contents of third parties that are loaded on a page there are several options, three of them are: Ghostery, Disconnect and DoNotTrackMe, three very similar extensions.
In this sense, these tools are responsible for blocking social networks such as tracking companies, talking about ads and scripts statistics, and allow you to set the blocks individually or per page.
The three extensions have a similar function, as they have a counter that indicates how many sites have been blocked and pressing it displays a detailed list from where you can block or unblock directly.
These tools have a predefined list of blocked sites, but you can also create your own white and/or black lists of sites you want to leave unblocked or blocked, respectively.
Similarly, one of the best news regarding these three extensions is that they are user friendly. For example, by blocking Twitter or Facebook buttons, they replace them with a static image, thus preventing you from losing functionality on the website.
Ghostery is one of the most popular tools in its category, mainly thanks to its configuration and power possibilities.
However, we must mention that one of its main flaws is that it does not block the default sites, but you must change the settings. For the rest, it is perhaps the best alternative in these three extensions.
Disconnect is an extension that has the advantage of being easy to use and has an intuitive interface. However, its defect could be that it does not block as many sites as Ghostery or DoNotTrackMe. One of its virtues is the ability to force HTTPS on all websites that do not support it, thus improving security.
DoNotTrackMe has its strong point in the ability to access statistics of blocked sites. It has a huge database and hunts virtually all sites, but also has fewer options compared to Ghostery and the interface has certain flaws when closing the window, for example.
Another major factor in maintaining privacy when surfing the Internet is keeping ads away. In these cases one of the best alternatives is AdBlock, an extension that is available for use in Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari. AdBlock takes care of blocking as many ads as you want.
In addition, AdBlock needs almost no configuration at all, but its advantages are many more as well. For example, it does not block ads that are considered acceptable, i.e., those that do not appear to be annoying so as not to drown out websites that are maintained with advertising.
It also has some options for blocking tracking pages and social buttons, but in a slightly cruder way, as it blocks them directly as if they were ads.
Although it is clear that with this you will not be followed, you will also lose many functionalities and it is possible that entire pages stop working directly. Of course, you can disable it by adding the web pages to a whitelist.
As you can see, it seems easy to know how to avoid tracking on the Internet, especially because of the wide variety of options you can use to avoid tracking on the web, always trying to maintain your privacy.
We are also interested in your opinions on the subject, so if you have any advice or tool to recommend us, you can do so in the comments area of this article.