Despite all the wonderful qualities of the internet, there are a few annoyances and even some major risks to be aware of. One of the biggest annoyances is the constant tracking.
Didn’t you know you were being tracked? The truth is that many businesses will track your location, websites and stores you visit, all so that they can refine their marketing efforts to target you with ads. However, this is not the only reason you are being tracked online. So what can you do to keep from being tracked?
In this article, we’ll cover why you’re being tracked. We’ll also share the top five ways to protect yourself and keep from being tracked. From using residential proxies from providers like this one to clearing your history and cache and more. Keep reading to learn what you can do right now to protect your privacy while online.
Why Are You Being Tracked?
One of the biggest reasons you are being tracked is for marketing purposes. Have you ever wondered why you start seeing ads of events close to you? Or why do ads with your favorite products keep popping up in your various social media feeds? Businesses have been tracking you using your IP address to create a buyer profile that they can use to curate ads for you. This is mostly just an annoying side effect of being tracked but is relatively harmless.
Unfortunately, you may also be tracked for other reasons that are less pleasant. For example, police and law enforcement might also track the locations of individuals to piece together illegal activities. Using the right tools, your life can become an open book to them. They can identify what shops you visited, where you traveled to and even where you spent the night.
Law enforcement isn’t the only people interested in this. Your employers may also do the same thing. They might track you to see what websites you visit and how long you spend on these sites during work hours.
5 Ways to Avoid Being Tracked
Protecting your privacy online is important. Here are the top five ways you can keep from being tracked online.
Using Many Browsers
Use many different browsers and rotate between them for your various tasks. Using different browsers makes it difficult for you to be tracked. An even better approach would be to browsers and search engines specifically developed not to track you, such as DuckDuckGo, Startpage, or Tor. Even though these state that they don’t track you, it’s still a good idea to switch between them as an extra precaution.
Clearing Browsing History, Cache and Cookies
Moving to the next tactic that is still browser-related is to clear your browsing history, cache, and cookies after every session and before moving to a new browser. That way, the record is wiped clean, and when you come back to the browser, you’ll have a fresh start. You must clear all three of these because if you leave one uncleared, that gives trackers an opportunity to see where you’ve been.
Using Mixing User Agents
Mixing user agents are add-ons and extensions that you can install in your chosen browser. When you access any website, they will check what your user agent is so that they can display the website in the best way possible for your browser and operating system (OS). With a mixing agent, you can set it so that the user agent is different from your actual system. Using these tools, you can make it appear that you are accessing the website from a Mac using a Safari browser, even if you’re using a Windows computer and Chrome browser. This means your real browser and, more importantly, OS is kept hidden.
Using Residential Proxies
Rotating residential proxies is your best chance to avoid being tracked. Proxies act as the middleman between users and the internet and, in the process, disguise the IP address. A rotating proxy specifically will change the IP address with every new request making it impossible to be tracked. If you think that proxy prices are too high, remember that they don’t have to be. You can find providers that offer good quality rotating proxies at affordable prices. Proxy prices shouldn’t be what keeps you from staying safe online.
Use Services That Delete Your Data from Brokers
Finally, there are services that you can use to delete all your data from the brokers that collected it. This is nice to do to ensure that what has been collected, even before you put these different measures in place, gets removed. Some of the services that take care of this are DeleteMe and Safe Shepherd.
With so many different ways that you can be tracked, you can never be 100% sure whether or not you’re tracked. This is why it’s so important to change as many things as possible and implement multiple strategies such as using reliable residential proxies, along with multiple browsers and user mixing agents.