The Do Not Track Option on Your Browser and Your Privacy
By now you probably know that somewhere someone is tracking your internet use. Much of the data that is saved about your internet usage is stored in databases, and used to present relative ads based on your web searches and the sites you visit. Have you noticed when you visit Amazon they have product recommendations for you, Twitter and Facebook both suggest people for you to follow and friend, and the various ads which show up on your side bar? These are all there because these sites and others track your internet usage.
While you think there is not much you can do about the various sites collecting data on you, there is a do-not-track option on your browser. The do-not-track option tells these websites not to track you. It lets them know you don’t want any cookies or for them to watch your internet usage. Sites do have the option to ignore the do-not-track option, but at least by activating it you may be able to prevent some of your usage from being tracked.
Exercising the Do-Not-Track Option on Your Browser
Each browser has a different way of implementing the do-not-track option. The only browser that has the do-not-track as default is the new IE10 (thank you Microsoft!). Here is how to turn this option on for some of the most popular browsers:
Mozilla Firefox: Go to Tools then to Options and Privacy, click “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked.”
Google Chrome: Click the wrench icon and then go to Settings. You must add the do-not-track extension to Chrome.
Safari: Go to the Privacy tab and look for Website Tracking and check “Tell websites not to track me.”
Internet Explorer: In order to choose the do-not-track option in IE, you must express your preference not to be tracked. This is a bit cumbersome to do on earlier versions before IE10. In order to use the do-not-track feature go to their website and the instructions will walk you through it.
An Easier Way to Protect Your Privacy
Like I said earlier in this post, the do-not-track option is a good thing to activate, but you still have to rely on a website to honor this request. One of the easiest ways to protect your privacy is to have a VPN. A VPN will make it nearly impossible for a website to track your usage since each time you log onto the internet you will have a different IP address. Your data is also encrypted and will be nonsense to anyone who intercepts it. Many VPNs have a free version so you can test drive several to find the one you like the best. If you truly don’t want to be tracked, look into a VPN to protect your privacy and keep prying eyes off of your internet usage.