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Do Not Track Plus

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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“We believe that people have a right to privacy in their lives-whether in their homes or online.” That admirable sentiment is a quote from Albine, who distributes Do Not Track Plus; a free browser extension that prevents ads, sites, and social networks from tracking Internet users. Available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer (with Opera in the works); DNT+ either blocks sites completely (the default setting), or allows you to “opt out” of targeted advertising (they can still track you, but they can’t target you with ads). And–as far as I can tell–blocking does not adversely affect web browsing (although IE claims a few seconds increase in load time).

DNT+ can be found here. Click the orange Download Now button and DNT+ will automatically recognize the browser being used, and direct you to the correct download. It easily installed on Firefox, Chrome, and IE (versions 8 and 9), although the IE installation required several extra steps.

Once installation is complete, a browser restart is required, after which the icon shown below will appear on the toolbar. The number indicates how many sites are being blocked at that location. If multiple tabs are open, clicking through them will quickly reveal the different tracking each site allows.

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On several sites I visited, no tracking was discovered. Others were much more intrusive.

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Click the icon to open the privacy alert window. Clicking the number blocked (to the right) expands details.

kevin_do_not_track_plus_8

The all-time total reveals the types of tracking blocked. As seen below, some sites track you across the web; including Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.

kevin_do_not_track_plus_9

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Click the Settings link at the bottom to see a list of blocked sites. Early in the first day, 197 attempts to track me were blocked (details below). However, several hours later, when I returned to writing, the number had increased to 420, although several of the blocked sites repeatedly appear on the list.

DNT+ can easily be turned off on any site by clicking the On/Off button in the privacy alert window.

To read more on blocking and opting out, click here. For more on the tracking companies that DNT+ blocks, check out their Tracker Index.

In a world where privacy is a rapidly diminishing commodity, Do Not Track Plus is a breath of fresh air.

~Kevin

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6 Responses to “Do Not Track Plus”

  1. Adam says:

    IE9 has some tracking protection built-in. Not as extensive as this, but it does pretty decently for what it is.

  2. Susan Wilson says:

    ty

  3. gene jacobson says:

    You might have mentioned that DNT will disable Twitter in FF which has to run in an IE tab and that there is no plug in available to fix this. I got rid of it as fast as I installed it. Not helpful at all, this “tip”.

    • Kevin says:

      Gene,
      As I mentioned in the article, DNT+ didn’t adversely affect my browsing but, since I’m one of the last remaining people on the planet without a Twitter account, I wasn’t aware of this issue. I can assure you that this oversight was unintentional. However, while searching for a solution to your problem (one I couldn’t find), I found several tweets recommending DNT+.
      Thanks for the heads up.

      • Becky Brown says:

        Kevin….no you are not the only person without a Twitter account, I too have declined the temptation…Facebook too! My life has been quite lovely without either! Just installed DNT and anticipating great results! Best wishes, Becky

  4. Hulda Robertson says:

    I liked what you said so I downloaded the DNT, However, when I read the reviews on that page I find that they track you with all kinds of cookies. So I have not installed it until I fid out more about it. So difficult to not be tracked. I wonder how this site can afford to offer this free so now I wonder if they sell your information. I would like to know more about it.

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