When we think of internet security and limiting how far-reaching companies tracking our data can be, it’s easy to think only those with technical skills and IT know-how will benefit. But the truth is that everyone deserves their privacy, and unfortunately, online tracking tools can be used to identify you as someone to be advertised to, which has been known to cause problems.
As such, you are fully within your rights to try and limit how you’re to be tracked online. This is why some platforms, like Apple, are giving consumers more of a choice over how their data is handled. If you own an iPhone, you may have notice that apps request to ‘track’ you, which you can easily deny thanks to Apple’s renewed security focus. Accept, and these apps will configure your advertising profile for use across all of their services, refining their impression of you as a potential buyer and what may inspire you to purchase more.
In this post, then, we’ll discuss how even an average internet user can benefit from limiting how they might be tracked, and how to do it. With that in mind, let’s begin:
Change Your IP Address
When you learn how to change iPhone IP address, it’s harder for companies to track you and they also have a hard time ‘device fingerprinting’ with this in mind. As such, it’s not uncommon for many people to do this in order to get around track preferences or to use a service with heavy tracking infrastructure, such as social media apps. This can help avoid giving away too much of your data and will ensure a consistent advertisement profile is less likely to be built on you or to affect your general web browsing experience.
Use Tracking Blocking Apps & Extensions
For desktop users, there are many worthwhile extensions that can help block your traffic and limit how much online platforms spy on your use. Decentraleyes can be a good way of uncoupling these platforms from speaking to one another. NoScript is for somewhat advanced users but can be used to prevent web pages from loading tracking scripts without direct permission for you. And moreover, Adblock extensions like AdBlock Plus or UBlock Origin have been known to get rid of advertisements internet-wide, so even if you are being tracked, the advertising results are not experienced.
Reject Or Wipe Cookies
Cookies are little files created by websites you visit, often recognizing you as a user and your preferences. They can also be used to store small data points on you, such as how you use their services, and all the information a website holder might use in order to familiarize themselves with those visiting their sites. Luckily, most web browsers like Microsoft Edge, Brave, Firefox, and Google Chrome allow you to clear cookies every time you close your browser. This might prevent you from setting and saving your preferences more easily (for instance, you may need to select your regional language from a website when you visit each time), but for those being tracked, it can be a worthwhile place to start.
Don’t Volunteer More Information Than You Have To
To some extent, you have the chance to limit just how much information is collected on you by not providing that information in the first place. For example, when you install the Windows operating system, you can select if you would like full diagnostic measures or basic diagnostic gathering to be undertaken. The ‘full’ option allows Microsoft to collect plenty of data, including the sites you visit, how you configure your computer, and more. As they say, any free provision is probably using you as the product.
However, it is possible to deselect some settings after keeping the ‘basic’ alternative aligned to your account, preventing just how much data you’re willing to give. Some platforms are even becoming more privacy-focused. DuckDuckGo, an alternative search engine to Google, prides and markets itself on collecting no user data on its searches or those who visit the site, allowing for much more privacy as far as that’s concerned. This is a consumer issue at the end of the day, and wanting more privacy and control over your data is perfectly acceptable. If you wish to go further then steering clear of social media could be a next step.
With this advice, we hope you can avoid being tracked online, or at least limit how much data is collected and how it will be utilized going forward.