Whenever we visit a website, we are tracked by our ISP, unknown people(s) and of course, the NSA. They analyze our online activities and share the information to website owner or to some third party companies. These companies will sell products and services according to our online activities such as what we are seeing often, what we are liking mostly and what type of websites we frequently visit etc. The actual problem is that we can’t visually see who’s tracking us and we are not able to find what’s happening behind the scenes.
There is a cool Firefox add-on called Collusion which helps us to see who (websites) is tracking us in real-time. It is still in experimental stage. Hope it will come with more features in the future.
Install Collusion Extension on Firefox
Open up Firefox browser. Go to Tools -> Add-ons and search for the Collusion add-on and click on Install to add it to Firefox.
Open Collusion Graph from Tools menu.
This add-on will notify you who is tracking you at present, even the one you didn’t visit. This add-on does not promise to be entirely accurate and still it is under development.
As per the above screenshot, I visited www.unixmen.com at the time of writing this. My online activities are automatically tracked and sent to two other sites called www.yarpp.org and www.gravatar.com. I didn’t visit yarpp.org before (even don’t know this site is exists), but it tracked me to it. Quite interesting add-on, isn’t it? Have fun!
I don’t want to track by third parties, what should I do?
The answer is quite simple- Firefox has an add-on for this too. You can protect your online privacy with a add-on called Ghostery.
Ghostery detects the trackers, web bugs, pixels and beacons placed on web pages like Facebook, Google Analytics and over 1,000 other ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers that are interested in your online activity.
It not only shows who is behind the scenes, it also gives you the opportunity to learn about each company it identifies. It allows you to block the scripts from untrusted companies. It deletes the local shared object and images and frames also. For information visit http://www.ghostery.com/
Install Ghostery Add-on
To install Ghostery Go to Tools -> Add-ons. Search for Ghostery and click on Install.
Once you have installed it, you will be asked to restart Firefox. Restart and the Ghostery configuration walk-through wizard will automatically open.
Ghostery will lead through a couple of options to get things done straight away. Click on the forward arrow button to continue.
Click on the checkbox to enable GhostRank. Click forward arrow button.
Click on the categories that you want to stop tracking you and click forward arrow.
You’re done now. Start browsing!
You can directly block from tracking or whitelist websites that you trust using the Ghostery add-on icon. Click on the Ghostery icon in the Firebox add-on bar. You will see that who is tracking you right now and Ghostery is automatically blocked the tracking websites.
You can whitelist the sites that you trust. For example if you want to enable Google Analytics to track you, just click on the Tick mark. Hopefully I can say that you are a bit safer and smarter now from online tracking.