We don’t mean to scare you or make you over suspicious and mistrustful in general, but your online activities are being monitored every second. As you read this article, you’re being tracked. As soon as you go online, someone knows about this.
Even if you knew this already, when you actually start to think about it more profusely, you inevitably start to feel a little awkward – like someone’s constantly watching you through the peephole and you’re not doing anything about it. Well, luckily, there are some things you can do to block those unwanted looks, at least online.
Before you start panicking about the fact that tracking cookies are literally everywhere, it’s time to learn about different ways to block those trackers.
Why Am I Being Tracked In the First Place?
First off, you may start to wonder why are you even being tracked at all – ’What’s so interesting about my browsing activities, I’m not even doing anything illegal or suspicious online?’ Well, in most cases you’re not being monitored because someone thinks you’re doing something felonious and unlawful.
Tracking cookies are used in most cases to analyze consumer trends. Different companies and corporations want to know all about your preferences – what you’re reacting to and what you’re buying online, for instance. Then they can use this information to target you directly through advertising. Have you ever wondered how all those customized ads start to surface as soon as you start to get interested in something? The tracking cookies and scripts are responsible, you’ve guessed it right.
Why You Should Block Trackers?
The next question you may ask yourself is completely expected: ’What’s so wrong about personalized content?’ But it’s not just about this. Companies behind the tracking cookies and scripts want to discover more and more information about you. Then they use this information and sell it to other companies that might want to start sending you lapsed e-mails and advertising.
So far so good, you may think. Other than being mildly infuriating, these activities are not harming anyone. That’s when we get to the point where this data can be sold to other third parties, which may not use your personal information so innocently. Cybercriminal activities such as identity theft often occur these days, and you should be well protected against these fraudulent interests.
Activate Private Browsing
We begin our list of ways you can protect yourself from internet trackers with the feature that most browsers have built-in these days: private browsing. Although this can provide you with the basic protection against cookies, private browsing also disables other browser features that you may find useful, such as history and stored passwords.
Opt For Tracker Blockers
If you don’t find private browsing to be practical enough for your everyday purposes, we recommend you to try plugins that will block down tracking cookies and scripts. All major browsers have these plugins available, so you should definitely consider installing them.
Another line of defense against tracking – especially in regards to protecting your IP address and ISPs – are proxy servers. Getting around monitoring and recording your activities through ISPs using proxy servers can be a solution to the problem, you just have to make sure you use a super-secure proxy server.
Use VPN to Block Trackers
But even the best proxy server solutions out there don’t come even close to VPNs. As you can see, getting rid of these tracking cookies and scripts can be a bit of a real challenge at times. A virtual private network (VPN) essentially allows you to connect to a distributed private network and become completely anonymous on the web.
Both your IP address and geographic location will be hidden when using a VPN. So, the best way to make sure you remain fully protected against cyber-attacks and internet trackers is to opt for a VPN that protects you in the best possible way.
Tor (Onion Routing)
To complete our easy guide for blocking internet trackers, we also have to mention Tor, which is based on the concept of Onion routing. This concept is based on bouncing encrypted requests and responses around multiple servers. Throughout this process, the start and endpoints are rendered obscure from one another.
Even though Tor may seem like a perfect solution to internet tracking issues, there are still some concerns about whether it will actually provide you with enough protection. Apart from that, there are also problems with drops in speed and the fact that you must rely on other people that maintain Tor servers. There’s also a question of vulnerability of Tor endpoints, which you shouldn’t disregard.
In this article, we’ve given you some simple and easy tips on how you can protect yourself online and block internet trackers. Although there are certainly more things to say about this subject, we feel like we’ve given you enough information on these issues. We strongly encourage you to continue reading about these things since it’s essentially about protecting your online privacy and freedom.