More privacy please
by Tarek Ziadé
It became extremely annoying for me to get targeted ads, since I do most of my shopping online, even groceries. I am a great target for advertising operators 🙂
But I don’t want to chase options on every online service I use, just to opt-out and protect my privacy. All these options should be off by default in my opinion, or at least you should be warned, no ? I don’t know if it’s still accurate but there’s a law in Europe for this.
Anyways, this is not a new problem. But I realized that while I was shocked by how cookies could breach your privacy +10 years ago, I was not taking any action to protect myself. Let’s fix this.
I am trying to fine-tune my browser and change my search habits to make sure I am leaking as less data as possible.
Here’s a list of actions I have done, if you have better ideas please comment, I’ll try to keep that list up-to-date.
- Use Firefox and disable third-party cookies.
- Activate Do Not Track – there’s now a good list of ads companies that should honor it.
- Install Cookie Monster to get more control on cookies.
- Install the Ghostery plugin to detect and block ads scripts. It’s pretty enlightening.
- Install HTTPS Everywhere. (nothing really a counter-measure for data leaking but it’s safer – use it!)
I have also decided to give a shot to duckduckgo.com instead of google.com for search. They don’t track at all. You can install the ssl search bar add-on and also tweak your Awesome bar so it uses it too (I set it to https://duckduckgo.com/?q= and it seems to work).
It’s been a week of Duck Duck Going, and I like it so far. It’s refreshing to use a new search engine. I have not suffered from bad results so far — nothing compared to what made me move from Altavista to Google a very long time ago 😀
And oh… nooo.. what now.. Browser Fingerprint ??!