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I want to disable common forms of third-party tracking on websites. I currently block third-party cookies and use browser extensions to prevent some intrusive behavior. Disconnect blocks most trackers, but unfortunately it also deprives websites I want to support of advertising revenue.

Ideally I want to leave ads enabled on these sites while still preventing trackers from building detailed profiles about me. That's why the EFF's Privacy Badger looked appealing to me. The problem with Privacy Badger is that, unlike Disconnect, it doesn't block those social like widgets that tell Facebook which websites I've been on. Adblock Plus has a blacklist for social widgets, but I can't tell it to allow ads on a specific site while still blocking the widgets.

Which other options do I have to prevent advertising agencies from tracking me with cookies and prevent social media sites I'm logged in to from monitoring me across the web?

migrated from security.stackexchange.com Aug 11 '14 at 16:59

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  • Note that you can only do so much. You'll never be able to get out of tracking completely, because browser fingerprinting has also become a 'common form': See forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2013/06/17/… and panopticlick.eff.org and now we even have 'canvas fingerprinting' (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canvas_fingerprinting) – Jan Doggen Aug 20 '14 at 10:07
  • You're right. I've heard about more sophisticated tracking methods like Panopticlick before. However, I only want to disable the more common, primitive forms of tracking. – Pieter Aug 20 '14 at 18:31
  • In case of a browser extension, is any browser (on any operating system) acceptable? – unor Oct 1 '15 at 2:27
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Ghostery is a browser extension which knows almost 2000 trackers. It allows you to whitelist individual websites, allows you to choose which trackers to allow or block (generally or per-website), and disables social media share buttons which can be re-enabled by clicking on them.

  • I've used Ghostery before, but as far as I recall it is very similar to Disconnect in that you can only choose between enabling an ad tracker or completely disabling ads from this company. Am I wrong? I should also point out that Ghostery's Ghostrank feature has been controversial. They also call themselves a marketing technology company. – Pieter Aug 8 '14 at 18:43
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    @Pieter Ghostrank is opt-in. That being said, your options are to enable a tracker globally, disable a tracker globally, or whitelist a specific site which pauses all Ghostery blocking on it. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 20 '14 at 13:13
  • Much like Disconnect, Ghostery blocks the tracking elements of ads as well as the ads themselves. But as I mentioned in my question, I want to leave ads enabled to support sites I like while still blocking the tracking elements that Disconnect/Ghostery/Privacy Badger can neutralize. – Pieter Aug 22 '14 at 8:47

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