We hear about “being tracked” online, but do you know how far advertisers are able to go?
Oftentimes people hear of tracking and think of cookies. That’s not wrong. Cookies, placed by third parties and by the websites themselves know whether we’ve been to a specific website. But cookies are really the tip of the iceberg.
Advertisers and the tracking companies they employee are able to gather all sorts of information about you, from the websites you frequent, to what kind of products you’re interested, to some even scarier stuff like political views, health problems, and personal finances.
They do this by watching us with watching the purchases we made online, installing “social buttons,” cookies, and other tools. The social buttons tool is particularly concerning. Those little Facebook “like” counters, and other buttons can collect information about what website you visit without you having to be logged into your account.
But there are things you can do. Some browsers allow you to turn on Do Not Track features that tell websites to do just that: stop tracking you. You can also install ad blockers, which remove ads from the websites you visit altogether.
Check out the infographic below for other ways advertisers follow you around the Internet, and what you can do about it:
Filed under: Security
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