"Do Not Track", the feature in web browsers and web sites that asks advertisers and data miners not to track your browsing habits, is a relatively new service. It's also typically an opt-out feature, so you need to change some options to take advantage of it. Here's a list of everywhere that you can enable "Do Not Track" so advertisers can't snoop on your habits.
What Is "Do Not Track?"
We've talked extensively about "Do Not Track" before, and the general idea remains the same. Essentially, ad and analytics companies watch what you do online, and then tailor the web experience (including targeted ads) based on your history. They typically do this through cookies in your browser.
"Do Not Track" asks web sites to not track or store your browsing usage. Unfortunately, in some cases these still might track you even with the feature switched on, which is why extensions like Do Not Track Plus can be useful to make certain advertisers aren't keeping tabs on you.
Even if you do use those sorts of extensions, if you don't want ad networks tracking you, it's worthwhile enabling "Do Not Track" wherever you can. Here's how to do it.
Enable "Do Not Track" In Browsers And Services
- Chrome: Head into the Settings page and click "Show advanced settings." Scroll down to the Privacy section and select "Do Not Track".
- Mobile Chrome: Head into the Settings and then choose Privacy > Do Not Track.
- Firefox: Select Preferences > Privacy and tick the box marked "Tell websites I do not want to be tracked."
- Internet Explorer: Click the Tools button and then Internet Options > Advanced. Select "Always send Do Not Track Header".
- Safari: Head into Preferences > Privacy and check the box marked "Ask website not to track me".
- Mobile Safari: Technically "Do Not Track" won't be supported until iOS 7, but you can enable it right now by heading into Settings > Safari and selecting Private Browsing.
- Opera: Click Preferences > Advanced > Security and select "Ask websites not to track me".
- Twitter: Twitter supports Do Not Track, but you'll also want to opt out of a few other settings: head to your account settings page and uncheck the boxes that say "Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits" and "Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners".
- Pinterest: Pinterest supports all browsers with Do Not Track enabled. Like Twitter, you can also customise the data that Pinterest is allowed to collect about you.
- Advertising Networks: Finally, the last big tracking group is advertisers, and you're best off opting out of their tracking and data collection individually as well. Here are opt-out links to some of the major data collection and advertising networks: BlueKai, DataLogix, Acxiom and Chitika. .
You'll never truly be able to completely get rid of every entity that's tracking you, but by running through the above steps you can at least keep that data collection to a minimum. Tracking's not always a bad thing, and if you enjoy personalised ads than it's best to leave Do Not Track off.