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Browse the Internet Safely and Guard your Privacy

Browse the Internet Safely and Guard your Privacy

As you browse the Internet, lots of companies leave cookies on your system to follow your activity. There are ISPs, advertisement networks, and search engines etc. that track and analyze your online activity.

Here are some culprits:

Flash cookies

Risk: There are some small files called local shared objects (LSOs) that are kept by Adobe Flash. They act quite like cookies and invade our privacy. You can find them on almost all major websites- they track your internet surfing behavior.

Protection: Go to online settings of Adobe Flash and restrict the way Flash LSOs are stored. Just visit Global Storage Settings pane and deselect the option of ‘Allow Third Party Content…’ This will turn off the tracking feature. You can also change the permitted storage space and type 0 there. This will make the system ask you before placing any LSOs.

Ad networks

Risk: Ad networks know all about the websites you visit and the type of ads you click on. They track your usage by leaving web bugs or tracking cookies on your system. There is a lot of internet usage they can track so you need to safeguard your privacy. They are simply creepy.

Protection: There are settings in your browser that you can change and cookies will not be able to track your browsing behavior. You can even block cookies from ad sites. If you are working on Safari, you can go to Security under Preferences and deselect the Accept Cookies option. If you are on Firefox, there will be a Privacy tab given in Preferences. You can click on Use Custom Settings and deselect the option for accepting third party cookies.

Another method is to browse the internet using the private browsing mode of the browser. This helps a bit, but still allows certain tracking activities. You can also install extra plugins for your browsers to protect yourself. AdBlock works on Safari. If you are on Firefox, you can get AdBlock Plus.

And if you wish to control your browser completely, get NoScript for Firefox. It is probably the best tool for privacy and security. But the problem is that it can disturb the way websites work.

Have you ever faced any security threats? Do you feel it’s dangerous… or at least creepy? Share your views here.


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