We leave from under the "cap" (A selection of useful tips)

Let's get out of the "hood" - and this collection of useful tips will help you limit surveillance on your computer.

Since the beginning of 2011, browser developers have begun to implement the Do Not Track (DNT) feature in their browsers. It notifies sites that the user does not want advertisers to track his movements on the Web and collect confidential data about him using cookies. Typically, DNT is disabled by default. To activate it, follow these steps:

Firefox: go to "Settings" → select the "Privacy" tab and check the radio button next to "Tell sites that I don't want to be tracked"

Chrome: open "Settings" → on the screen that opens, click the "Show advanced settings" link (below) → in the "Personal data" section, check the box next to "Send the" Do not track "request with outgoing traffic. also recommends unchecking the boxes "Predict network actions to speed up page loading" and "Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google."

Internet Explorer: "Settings" → "Security" → "Send Do Not Track requests" → click on the "Enable" button

Safari: "Preferences" → go to the "Privacy" tab → and check the box next to "Block websites from tracking me".

Opera: "Settings" → "Privacy & Security" section → check "Send 'Do not track' request with data". Optionally, the checkboxes next to "Use the prediction service to autocomplete the entered search query or link in the address bar" and "Predict network actions to optimize page load" can be unchecked

Enabling this option, however, does not mean that sites will immediately stop annoying you with "targeted" ads. While DNT is advisory in nature. It only informs sites about the desire of users to stop spying on them, but does not give any guarantees that advertisers will comply with this request.

In addition, there is no agreement yet on how exactly DNT should work. On the one hand, more and more users do not want to be followed. According to a survey conducted by Forrester Research in March 2013, 18% of Internet users had DNT enabled. On the other hand, advertisers oppose this system, insisting that behavioral advertising is an integral part of free web services. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is expected to clarify this issue in 2014 by adopting DNT as a standard and making it mandatory.

Extensions

Disabling DNT is not a panacea yet. We also recommend installing a browser extension that will block advertising cookies. One of the best plugins of its kind (for Firefox and Chrome) is Ghostery, which detects behavioral beacons, analytics bugs and advertising cookies from Facebook, Google Adsense, Yandex.Metrica, DoubleClick and hundreds of other ad networks.

This is how Ghostery behaves when logging into Twitter

Ghostery is very easy to use and, importantly, translated into Russian. After installing the add-on, a counter will appear on the browser navigation bar, notifying about the number of bugs found on the site. For example, if you go to Twitter, you will see one Google Analytics "bug", on Apple - the Omniture beacon (Adobe Analytics), and in the "Yandex" news section - "Yandex.Direct" and "Yandex.Metrica" ​​bugs. To block them, you need to click on the ghost icon and move the switches to the right.

Google

In early 2012, Google adopted a new privacy policy. The meaning of the document, which came into force in March, boiled down to the fact that the largest Internet search engine has the right to combine the data of the same person in different services of the company and use this information to display advertising. For example, Google will be able to remember which query a user entered into a search engine and display an ad that might interest him. Information is collected on all 60 services owned by the company, including Gmail, YouTube video hosting, Google Maps and others. However, users could not refuse these changes. The company itself said that the new rules will allow it to improve the accuracy of search results, as well as improve the functionality of other services.

Despite the smart glasses Glass and other experimental projects, the Chrome browser and even the Android platform, it is online advertising that remains the most important source of revenue for Google. A company makes huge profits from contextual ads that are tailored to your interests, and it is not easy to limit their impressions.

First, you need to find out what data is available to Google services. You can do this in the "Personal Account": here you can find information about Android devices linked to your account, videos uploaded to YouTube, files in "Documents", tasks, contacts, events in the "Calendar", Gmail letters, etc.

"Personal account" Google. If you do not use some services, delete your data from them (for example, Picasa Web Albums) and restrict access to them as much as possible.

If you downloaded an application for a smartphone and allowed it to access your to-do list, Google+ account or other information, unlink it (for example, "Account" → "Linked apps and sites", YouTube → "Connected accounts", Google+ → "Application management"). Also, disable the recording of location history ("Location History" → "Settings" → on the new page, check the box next to Disable and click the Save button; after that, do not forget to clear the history of your locations by clicking on the History management link).

Clearing YouTube browsing history

Go through all the other settings carefully, as the most important of them are buried quite deep. In the YouTube section, we recommend that you enter "Manage History", click on "Clear browsing history", and then - "Pause recording of browsing history". Do the same in "Manage search history": clear history and pause recording. If you wish, restrict access to your subscriptions and videos you like (section "Privacy Settings").

Google+ Profile Settings

Google+ settings depend on your preferences. Here you can, for example, prohibit showing your profile in Google search results, prohibit disclosing your location, prohibit adding EXIF ​​data to uploaded images, and more.

Google Ads Settings - Google Ads

Go to Google Ads settings and see how advertisers see you: gender, age category, language skills and interests are indicated here. If you do not want this information to reach the agencies, in the Opt-out settings section, click on the opt out links and confirm the opt-out. You will still see ads, but they will not be influenced by your interests and visits to partner sites. Important: the data about your refusal is stored in cookies, so if you delete cookies or change your browser, you will have to refuse again.

Google search history settings

By default, Google stores whatever information you've ever searched for. If you do not want this, go to the Google Search settings and click on the Turn off button, then delete all previously accumulated history (check the boxes and click on the Remove items button).

Yandex

With the largest Russian search engine, everything is a little simpler. At the very bottom of the search results settings (the "Personal Search" block), uncheck all the boxes and stop the history recording

Go to "My Finds", stop recording the history of search queries, click the "Clear History" button, and then turn off the finds in search suggestions

Search suggestions (they appear in the drop-down menu when you enter a query in Yandex) can be left, having previously forbidden to include your own queries in them and clearing the history. It is also best to exclude the sites you visit most often from the tips. After setting the settings, do not forget to click on the "Save" button below. Also, if a large banner on the main page of the search engine bothers you, disable it here

The most important setting related to the Yandex.Direct advertising system, as usual, is located at the very bottom. "On partner sites, Yandex displays ads taking into account the individual interests of users, which are determined by their behavior on Yandex and on sites participating in the Yandex Advertising Network, " the company says.

If you do not want Yandex to save cookies in your browser, and its partners took your interests into account when displaying ads, check the box next to the item "Do not take your interests into account when displaying ads" and click on the "Save" button

Facebook

"Facebook does not grant third-party applications or ad networks the right to use your name or photos in advertisements. If we allow this in the future, you will be able to choose the settings that will govern the use of your information, " says the website of the largest social network. However, it's best to be on the safe side in case the company starts selling your names and photos.

Open "Settings" → "Advertising", click on the "Edit" link (to the right of the "Third Party Sites" block), set the value to "Nobody" and click "Save Changes"

If you do not want to be advertised to you that you and your friends "like", in the "Advertisements and friends" block, set the value "Nobody"

And most importantly (as always, written in the smallest print): prevent Facebook from showing ads related to your activities on and off the social network, as well as in third-party applications. Follow this link and click on the "Opt out" button.

Twitter

Disabling targeted ads on Twitter is easy. Go to "Settings" → "Security and privacy" section, scroll to the bottom and uncheck the following items: "Adapt Twitter based on recently visited web pages" and "Advertising is selected individually and based on information from advertising partners." Then click on the "Save Changes" button.

"VKontakte"

It is impossible to refuse targeted advertising on the most popular social network on the Runet. Ads are shown based on the information that you specified in your profile: city, age, interests, university, groups, etc. An advertisement you don't like can only be hidden by hovering over it with the mouse and clicking on the cross - but then another one will appear in its place. In case you don't want to see ads at all, install a browser blocker extension like AdBlock Plus. You can remove the city, set the age to more than 90 years, and indicate an unknown country as your place of residence, in this case, you most likely will not receive relevant targeted advertising without an ad block.