Saturday, March 21, 2020

2 ways you’re being tracked online | E-Neighborhood Advisor

Stopping online trackers is clearly a hot topic.
An internet search for ways to block trackers
yields more than 32 million results. You know
tracking happens to you. You search retailer
sites for a new sweater, or a snow blower, or a
life insurance policy. Suddenly ads for those
items pop up every time you’re online. It’s not a
coincidence. Your travels about the web are
being monitored, creating both a privacy issues
and security risk. But what can you do? Is
constant surveillance the price you pay for
being online?

The ProtonVPN Blog has some tools and
techniques you can use to block websites from
tracking you, but first it’s helpful to know who is
following you, and how these services actually
follow you.

A quick way to evaluate which third-party
trackers are following you is to visit the EFF’s
Panopticlick or Am I Unique. These sites will
show you the trackers that still have access to
your online activity and help you see your
device’s “fingerprint.”

How cookies track you on the Internet
Cookies are tiny bits of text that websites place
on your device based on the websites you visit
and the things you click on. This text can then
be read when you return to the site, letting it
“recognize” you and re-create your previously
chosen preferences. These are what allow you
to remain logged in to a site unless you
deliberately log out. These types of cookies are
called first-party cookies, since they come
directly from the website you are accessing.

Third-party cookies are placed on your
device by third-parties — not by you, not by the
website you are visiting, but by secret
advertising services. These advertising
services then follow your device from site to
site, trying to see what websites and topics
interest you to improve the ads they show you.
They can also end up with a thorough record of
your online activity.

Generally speaking, first-party cookies can be
useful, while third-party cookies raise
numerous privacy concerns. Fortunately, third-
party cookies are easy to isolate. Next week
we’ll be discussing several ways to avoid or
block third-party cookies. Watch for our email
with the subject line: How do you stop online
trackers from following you?

Your Flooring Consultant,

Matt Capell
Phone (208) 288-0151
Fax (208) 917-6160

P.S. Here's a joke for you!
Why do beavers spend so long on the Internet?
They never want to log off.

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