No one ever wants their surfing habits to be monitored. By now, most of us know that many companies and even governments track our every move on the web. These entities collect out information and details for marketing or monitoring purposes. While this may not be malicious always, it can be a bit harmful sometimes.
If you do not want your online life to be monitored you can always set your browsers to not accept cookies, but unfortunately many websites won’t work well if we disable cookies on our browsers. So we need something strong to protect ourselves against online data collection companies like advertisers and social networking websites. What about using a browser plug-in!! Yeah that seems to be a good idea. There are many tools offering these features, and we have already seen some like PrivacyFix, Web Shield, etc. Today we’ll be reviewing Ghostery, one of the most popular free online Privacy Control browser extension, offering ‘do not track’ capabilities.
Everyone wants to protect their privacy on the internet, and there are many free privacy tools available. Internet Explorer already offers Do Not Track capabilities and the Enhanced Protected Mode. But for those who are looking for a stronger fix, Ghostery may well prove to be the answer. Ghostery is an excellent extension for all popular browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome & Opera. With it’s very intuitive interface Ghostery shows the details about the companies collecting your information. This browser add-on blocks the tacking code and does everything it claims to do all it can, to protect your privacy.
The program has a very user-friendly interface and helps you in tracking beacons, web bugs, and cookies right from your browser. Once you install the extension, a small ghost appears on the upper right corner of your browser and detects the hidden web-scripts on a Web Page. As you open a tab, a quick a purple box appears with the details of companies tracking your information.
Ghostery also launches an introduction page with an informative tutorial about what the program actually does. From the ‘Settings’ option of the program you can choose to opt into GhostRank which collects hidden data about the trackers you’ve encountered and the sites on which they were placed. GhostRank then sends these additional details to Evidon, its parent company.
You can block each individual tracker from the list or, you can block them in bulk from the “Option” settings under the Ghostery button. Just click the boxes next to the various categories of trackers and keep your Web surfing absolutely private. The program does not automatically block trackers.
You can block the social buttons appearing on the Web pages by blocking the tracker of corresponding social networking websites. For example if you block the tracker of Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter; you won’t see these share buttons on the page instead you will see a Ghostery button indicating that these trackers have been blocked. Well, if you want to see them make sure you keep them in your whitelist.
However, the program has been under a bit of cloud, ever since the online marketing company Evidon bought it in 2010. Some say that Evidon sells the collected data from Ghostery users who have enabled the GhostRank feature – but then again you can always choose not to turn it ON.
Overall Ghostery is a useful program. It is a free plug-in and works well with most of the popular browsers. It installs and uninstalls without any issues. We recommend it to our readers looking for a way to secure their privacy online.
You can download it here. If there are any Ghostery users here, satisfied or unsatisfied, we’ love to hear your feedback!
How to prevent websites from tracking your location, by disabling Geolocation in your browser may also interest you.