Privacy Badger chases off creepy ad trackers

Sick of those ads that remind you they know what you just visited? The EFF feels you

If you don't know it already, you're probably being tracked on the Internet. While the advertisers like tracking your buyer habits, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is not cool with it. Thus it has come up with a nifty plugin for both Chrome and Firefox and called it Privacy Badger.

Many websites come with code that 'follows' your surfing habits and uses that information to serve up ads. It's the digital equivalent of someone seeing you look at a sweater in a store then follow you as you go, waving said sweater in your face. Thinking about it, it does sound creepy now, doesn't it?

Stop following me, Internet

How does Privacy Badger (which takes under a minute to install, we tried) work then? What happens is that Privacy Badger will monitor a website's activities and notice if something seems to be tracking your browser wherever you surf. The plugin will then tell you not to load any content from the source it has discovered tracking you. So once your browser stops loading content from said source, then you're no longer trackable by it.

Third party tracker detection, in a nutshell, is what Privacy Badger does. But if the third party also serves up important things for your viewing like maps, images or fonts, Privacy Badger will let those through but leave out the tracking cookies.

The plugin will display one of three statuses of a website: green, yellow or red. Green is the default state of all websites, yellow means a third party is trying to track you but Privacy Badger considers it a source necessary for Web functionality. Cookies will then be screened out. When a website is deemed red, however, Privacy Badger will disallow it completely.

It is a simple as clicking on the small plugin icon on your browser's menubar to see the status of a website. Facebook and EFF's website did not show any third party trackers but Twitter showed Google as a tracker, albeit a benign-seeming one.

Don't misunderstand EFF's intentions - this isn't an ad blocker. Unfortunately a lot of third-party trackers that Privacy Badger blocks are apparently ads so while some might be blocked, if you want a full-on ad blocker, you'll have to install another plugin.

Get it from the Chrome Store or from Firefox add-ons. In the meantime, if you'd like more privacy for filesharing, why not have a look at Onionshare?

[Source: Forbes]

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