Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Untraceable You

After the recent Google debacle over acquiring tracking info from the Safari web browser without the knowledge of the end user, I heard a radio interview on The Diane Rehm Show. Very interesting. Listen if you will, but it comes down to what steps the end user can take to protect themselves from unwanted incursions into their browsing habits. An enterprising company with a CEO late from McAfee have designed a web plugin that shuts the door on tracking companies linked to websites. It works cross-platform on Safari, Chrome, FireFox and some versions of IE, I believe (Of course, you shouldn't be using IE if you can avoid it, anyhow, right?). It's not a magic bullet, but it's nice to know there's an additional layer of protection between you and the internet hooligans wanting to spy on you. And it's free. Yup. Visit http://donottrackplus.com for the plugin. Find a short video explaining how it works below.


If you're like me (aren't you lucky), then you might not have considered this topic of tracking too much. I mean, that's the price we pay for being on the internet, right? Well advertising, maybe, just like television but behind-the-scenes snooping? No sir, not what I signed up for. Have you noticed a trend in the advertising you've been seeing? Recent visit to a airline to buy a ticket? Now you have discounted ticket ads popping up. Cooking sites? See ads for weight loss and cooking magazines. And so on. If you notice that the advertising is hitting too close to home, that may be a sign that some companies already know the places you've been. Kind of creepy, huh?

If you install this little deterrent, you will notice a green badge on the icon with the number of trackers it has blocked during the current browsing session. You can click on the icon to learn what types of companies they are and optionally allow them to track you if choose to. And isn't that what it's all about? Choice? What do you think? Do you see the dark shadow of big-brother looming in front of you?