Advertisements are one of the major factors which drive the internet. It helps publishers & websites make money as they provide great content free to the visitors. What gets annoying about these is when they track you everywhere. If you have seen advertisements which match your recent search queries, it means you are getting tracked. In this post, we are talking about Privacy Badger tool which helps you block those services from tracking you.
That said, if you are thinking that why not block the advertisement, then it’s not a solution. I am sure you do watch advertisement on TV, and even on print media? It’s the same thing. So lets cut the annoying part, and make browsing a better and mutually beneficial experience.
How do services track you around the web
Services use images, cookies, and many other methods to your browsing habits. Some of them are easily noticeable while others are tough to find.
Keeping this in mind, every browser has a Do Not Track feature built into it. A request for the same is sent when you visit a website. Any service which tracks users should honor this request. However, many a time they don’t, and that calls for action.
Privacy Badger review
Privacy Badger comes in the form of extensions for browsers like Chrome, and Firefox. Everytime you visit a website, it sends a Do Not Track request even if you haven’t enabled it in your browser.
Once you activate the extension, it lists down all the trackers on a webpage and offers a list of services which are tracking you. You can then choose to block the tracker manually – and it will not find you anymore. Remember, it doesn’t block advertisements, it does better than that.
That said, the tool gets better as you use it. Privacy Badger automatically discovers trackers as you browse the Web, and you can choose to disable the ones you want. Privacy Badger sends the Do Not Track signal to trackers telling them not to track you. If they ignore your wishes, your Badger will learn to block what they use for tracking. This way they will never be able to recognize you.
Here is what each color means:
- Green means there’s a third party domain, but it hasn’t yet been observed tracking you across multiple sites so that it might be unobjectionable. This happens for the first time.
- Yellow means that the third party domain appears to be trying to track you. However, since its yellow, it also means that cookies are needed for this website to work properly.
- Red means that content from this third party tracker has been completely disallowed.
Privacy Badger analyzes each third party’s behavior over time and picks what it thinks is the right setting for each domain, but you can adjust the sliders if you wish.
When trackers respect your request, this is how it will look like.
Features of Privacy Badger:
- It keeps track of blocked Cookies even if you remove them from the browser.
- In only blocks tracking by third-party sites, but not the first party sites like nytimes.com, facebook.com or google.com.
- Only cookies that contain tracking IDs are disallowed.
- It also works in Private/Incognito, but it takes a lot of time to learn.
- Whitelist domains.
- Add / Remove tracking domains.
- Option to import and export.
Settings for Privacy Badger: If you are very serious about Privacy, you can check the settings of extension. The default works great, but for those who want to go deeper, the settings have a lot to offer.
- Show count of trackers not honoring your request.
- Check if sites comply with EFF’s Do Not Track policy.
- Prevent WebRTC from leaking local IP address. This may degrade performance on some tools like Google Hangouts which need your IP address.
Privacy should always concern you, and make sure to keep using these tools to keep your privacy, private. You can download the extension from eff.org.
Another similar tool you might want to check ist – Privacy Possum for Firefox & Chrome.