Internet privacy has become quite an issue of late.
Many websites store cookies in the web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.). These cookies, although harmless to a computer, provide information to marketing, advertising and other organisations about pages viewed and websites visited by the user. Many people consider this an invasion of their internet privacy.
The majority of these cookies are used to place advertising on web pages. For example: if a person visits a website containing information about external disk drives. It is very likely that the next site visited will display advertising for external disk drives or related products.
The cookies used to control this advertising are often referred to as “third party” or “tracker” cookies. Assume an advertising company places ads on a number of websites and each website sets a cookie on behalf of the advertising company. When a person visits website A the cookie sends information about pages viewed to the advertising company. Next the person visits website B which also runs ads from the same company. The cookie will identify the computer and using information gathered from website A, place related ads on website B.
This screenshot from Lightbeam for Firefox, shows a circle (Yahoo!) the triangles connected to the circle are third parties collecting data about what people view at Yahoo! The two with Y! icons are Yimg.com and Yahooapis.com the others are:
yieldmanager.com – yahoo advertising tracker.
overture.com – yahoo advertising
serving-sys.com – who is serving-sys.com
imrworldwide.com – what is imrworldwide.com
What can people do to stop these companies from tracking and collecting data?
DoNotTrackMe helps protect internet privacy
DoNotTrackMe is an add-on that can be installed in most of the common web browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) to provide internet privacy.
It will “block” third parties from tracking pages and websites visited by the browser.
It can also “Mask” email addresses submitted on forms. This means data collected does not contain the real email address of the person submitting the form.
DoNotTrackMe will generate a fake (mask) email address that links to the person’s real email address. The person submitting the form can cancel (break) the mask at any time.
Masking an email address can prevent spam or a person’s real email address from being passed on to third parties.
If you are concerned about internet privacy, I highly recommend that you look at or install DoNotTrackMe.
Other add-ons I would recommend are:
Lightbeam for Firefox – displays what third party sites are linked to pages visited.
AdBlockPlus – stops ads from being displayed on web pages. This includes Facebook and YouTube.