We all need to be a bit more invisible on the internet. I’m in marketing and I can tell you that the number of ways you are tracked around the web are as scary as they are creative.
Luckily there are some simple things we can do to avoid most of the tracking (and speed up your browsing at the same time).
Step 1: Block trackers and ads
- Install a tracker blocker on your browser. The EFF’s Privacy Badger works really well.
- Instal the HTTPS Everywhere extension. This tiny but mighty add-on helps to ensure you have a safe connection to websites you visit.
- Install uBlock to block ads on most sites.
These extension are available for most browsers. If you want an all-in-one solution that includes these things by default, try the Brave browser. It’s based or Chrome so the majority of Chrome extensions work with it.
Step 2: Don’t use Google search
The second thing you can do is stop using Google as your search engine. Part of the reason we are tracked so effectively is because we use Google search. In many ways it is the beginning of the tracking cycles. Using an alternative search engine gives you a similar experience without the pernicious tracking of Google. It also helps avoid “search bubbles” where you see the same type of results based on things you’ve clicking on in the past.
- Startpage.com is my go-to search engine. The results come from Google but are filtered so that Google doesn’t see you as the searcher. Excellent search results without the tracking.
- DuckDuckGo.com is my other favorite. They have an excellent browser extension on desktop which blocks trackers and ads as well as setting DuckDuckGo as your default search engine. Their mobile app has become by default browser on my phone.
These are small steps you can take to help safeguard your privacy online. They don’t take much effort but over time can make a big difference.