The answer to that question is yes. If you use a computer or a cell phone you are being tracked. For this article when I say "tracked" I mean your internet surfing habits, what site you visit, how long you stay on that site and what pages you look at and if you make a purchase. I will discuss location tracking in another article.
All of the major search engines track your movements on the internet. Some do this directly and some will contract with third party companies that specialize in internet tracking. Did you ever wonder why you just received an email from an on-line merchant offering you a deal on a pair of shorts, when yesterday you were on-line looking at a different site for a pair of shorts? Or maybe a deal on a pair of shoes or shirt that will go with those shorts. Without getting too technical, the tracking companies track your habits, then they sell that information to the search companies that will generate advertising that you will get either by email or the next time you are on the web you will see that ad for shorts.
So can you stop the search engines from tracking you? I think the short answer is NO, you can't stop all tracking. But you can do things that will dramatically cut down the tracking.
To stop companies and search engines from tracking, you can try either of the below companies:
- Ghostery - Their web site says that they will educate you as to who is tracking you, then you can make the decision to stop them or not.
- Abine's Do Not Track Me - They say that will stop all known trackers and show you who they are. They also have another program that will mask your email.
Most tracking happens when you use search engines to search for something. To stop that tracking try these search engines:
- DuckDuckGo - This search engine will not track or log any of your internet searches, they use a proxy that gathers search results from multiple search engines then displays them to you.
- Ixquick - This also is a non-tracking search engine who will not track or log your web searching.
Big internet Companies like Google®, Yahoo® and Microsoft® have to make money to stay in business so that they can provide you with a rich internet experience and help you find what you are looking for. Selling ads is one way they do this.
By George Uliano