Online Tracking and Profiling Companies Know Most of What You Do Online. What You Need to Know.

Did you know that every second you are on the Internet, your behavior is being tracked and used to create a “profile” which is then sold to companies on “stock-market-like” exchanges? There are over 2000 tracking sites that track you as you surf your way around the web. The world of online tracking has grown increasingly complicated and poses a great threat to our privacy. Let me give you a couple of examples. If you happen to visit ESPN Go there are 12 third party ads and analytics trackers tracking you. The Verge which is a popular news site owned by Vox Media has 17 third-party ads and analytics trackers tracking you.

Tracking ads and analytics run code on your computer, which collects and sends data about you and your behavior back to the advertisers, analytics companies and publishers. Due to consolidation amongst ad networks and analytics providers they can easily track your behavior across multiple sites using your IP address building a very accurate profile of your personal information and the sites that you visit.

All of that tracking and data collection is done without your knowledge and without your consent. By going to any website, you unknowingly opt into whatever the target site, and any number of other sites and tracking networks, wants to collect, track, analyze, and sell. The world of online tracking has grown increasingly complicated and poses a great threat to our privacy. If you would like to learn more about how you are tracked I suggest reading this article at the Electronic Privacy Information Center website. You’ll be shocked!

You’re probably saying “Okay you’ve got my attention but what can I do to stop all this tracking?”

First off I would suggest that you read my recent article about “Why I Quit Google” as a first step to protecting your privacy.

Second take some time and research the following Privacy Tools and consider using some of them.

Privacy Respecting Browsers

Mozilla Firefox — Firefox is fast, reliable, open source and respects your privacy. OS: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, BSD.

Privacy Respecting Search Engines

If you’re using a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo you should pick an alternative. Here are a few suggestions.

Disconnect Search — Search privately using your favorite search engine: Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo are available for selection. It masks your IP address, cookies, and other personal info. My personal choice.

DuckDuckGo — The search engine that doesn’t track you.

privatesearch.io — An open source metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing information about its users. No logs, no ads and no tracking.

Browser Add-Ons That Stop Tracking

Disconnect — The browser add-on is open source and stops tracking by 2,000+ third-party sites.

Ghostery — The browser add-on stops tracking by 2,000+ third-party sites. Take back your Privacy!

I write about whatever the f*ck I want to write about. RSS feed: medium.com/feed/@ldstephens

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