Use Privacy Badger To Block Online Tracking & Cookies

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Block online tracking with Privacy Badger.

Have you ever been searching the Internet for something, let’s say a pair of sunglasses, and noticed that shortly after that search almost every online paid advertisement is suddenly pushing sunglasses down your throat. You can thank invisible trackers and cookies for that. But for the privacy paranoid online tracking and cookies are more than just a creepy nuisance they’re intrusive.

In an effort to help combat spying ads and cookies the folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have developed Privacy Badger. Built as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox Privacy Badger detects and blocks online advertising and embedded content that tracks you.

Users can install Privacy Badger to prevent companies who ignore ‘do not track’ requests from monitoring your reading habits, plus it prohibits social media buttons and widgets (even if you don’t click them) from following your website visit trail.

Privacy Badger blocks online tracking and cookies.

Privacy Badger uses a traffic light themed color sequence to inform you about third-party tracking behaviors. The settings are adjustable based on user need and comfort level, but basic settings are:

  • Green – there’s a third-party domain that hasn’t demonstrated tracking of your activity
  • Yellow – tracking is happening, however the site ‘whitelisted’ and tracking is considered necessary for web functionality (as opposed to advertising)
  • Red – tracking completely blocked

The idea of a tracking and cookie alert system isn’t something new. In fact, other tools like Ghostery and Disconnect do pretty much the same thing. So what sets Privacy Badger apart from the pack? In short, it’s been created to work for users who have minimal knowledge on settings or configuration options. Just launch and go. A rigorous algorithm has been developed to detect and prevent non-consensual tracking too. EFF hopes that other likeminded tools will be able to use in their own platforms to make them more robust.

Test out Privacy Badger for yourself and let us know what you think. Install directly from the landing page.

We have no commercial relationships with the EFF (as much as we like them) and disclaim responsibility for Privacy Badger.

Photo Credit: Cloudtail via CC

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Sarah Hartshorn is a marketing, public relations and social media professional with Vuze. She blogs about content, torrents, social media and a number of other tech topics. Sarah has been involved with traditional and digital marketing since 1998.