It’s no secret that your online data is mined with every web page you visit, whether you like it or not. For the most part, the information is used to display personalized ads just for you as you browse the net. Visiting sites like Match.com or OKCupid? Then don’t be surprised if some ads show up on Google that try to woo you to other, similar dating sites. For some people privacy is of paramount concern and they don’t want their searching habits mined by third party companies. It’s understandable and there is a way to opt-out of getting your search habits mined.
The biggest culprit to this is obviously Google, since most of your searches use Google to a certain extent. However, Google does offer a plugin/extension you can install that will block all of its advertising affiliates from collecting your information. Simply head over to http://www.google.com/privacy/ads/ and hit the Opt Out button to get the installation started. Remember, this is only for Google searches. It doesn’t affect data mining affiliates that exist on sites other than Google.
For the rest of the internet, there’s a little over 60 companies that make up the majority of those data mining operations such as Quantcast, Yahoo, Akamai, etc. All of these companies offer opt-out solutions if you dig for them. But do you really want to go rummaging around for those dozens of different opt-outs for each of those companies? Probably not.
Fortunately, there is a simple tool that aggregates all the opt-out solutions from all of these companies and lets you opt-out from the ones you choose with just one click. Of course, I’m not sure why you would be selective about who mines your data, but just head over to http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ and let the tool work its magic in detecting who is currently sending those AdultFriendFinder banner ads to your browser. After a few seconds, it gives you a list of who is tracking your specific browser as well as a list of all advertising companies. You can then choose to block those trackers. Do this for all the browsers you use and presto, you’re tracker-free (for the most part)!
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Also worth noting is the Chrome Extension “Keep My Opt Outs” by Google.
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