Our country’s founders said, “I disagree with everything you are saying, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.” When someone has informed opinions and a philosophy I disagree with, I love to hear their viewpoint. That is one way I will refine my views and be more informed about those views I disagree with. It reduces my ignorance.
Technology is frighteningly effective at making us all more ignorant. “People who bought this also bought …” is only the tip of the iceberg of tracking that’s done on the internet. Under the guise of ‘personalizing’, the data giants quickly determine what you see. All this tracking and personalizing is contributing to the polarization of our country, and a narrowing of what viewpoints we are exposed to.
There are things we can do personally to become less trackable.
- We can “game” the system by doing searches for views we disagree with and Google or YouTube will adjust.
- Most browsers offer a “private browsing” or “incognito” mode that limits what can be tracked when you go to websites. You will still see ads, but they are not targeted for you. There are also browsers that always operate in private mode. The Epic browser is based on the Chrome browser, but with privacy settings dialed up so that third-party cookies are automatically blocked, search and browsing history is never logged, and trackers are always blocked.
- Blocking or deleting third-party cookies (do it by heading into your browser’s Privacy settings) stops some kinds of tracking, but not all.
- Stop your browser sending location data. Deny location requests from websites.
- Google is in a unique position to build a profile of who you are, what you like and what you do online. You can opt out of “shared endorsement” in ads and turn off ad personalization. Download the Google Analytics Browser Add-on to stop Google Analytics using data on your movements to create profiles for its ad partners. (You can actually access much of the tracking data Google keeps on you, including everywhere you have been if you use Google Maps on your phone.)
- In your browser’s privacy settings turn on Do Not Track. You can also opt-out directly at major ad networks including BlueKai, Acxiom and Chitika.
- Download the free CCleaner to clear both Flash and regular cookies, but be warned – some sites use third-party cookies to track you within the site, so you may find yourself having to sign in repeatedly. Download an anti-tracker plugin such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Privacy Badger, Ghostery, or Disconnect, which blocks tracking cookies.
- Disable unnecessary browser plug-ins.
- Virtual Private Networks give you increased security when using WIFI. It is also effective for defeating tracking since you get a different IP address every time you sign-in.
For more detailed information you can go to “How to Browse the Web Anonymously”.
For browser options: https://nomoregoogle.com/