Do it Yourself–Do Not Track (DIY-DNT) for Firefox and Internet Explorer

UntitledIt used to be that you only needed browser add ins to block annoying advertisements that slowed down viewing of web pages or irritated you by flashing in your face while you were trying to read.  Now, it’s equally (or maybe more) important that you deal with how information about you could end up in the wrong hands just by browsing the Inter-webs. 

With the recent changes by some online companies (I’m looking at you, Google!) your online privacy is now a matter that you have to take into your own hands.  I’ll give you some tips about tracking protection for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, that won’t involve opting in or out or reading any small print privacy statements.

big-firefoxFirefox (v.12.0)

  • First, be sure to get the latest version of Firefox. 
  • From the Firefox menu bar choose Tools>Options>Privacy and select the checkbox “Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked” (Web site compliance is voluntary, but it may help some).
  • Go to Tools>Add-ons> and use the “search all addons” text box to find Adblock Plus.  Install it with the default settings.
  • Next, search for and install the DoNotTrackPlus addon.  Again, the default settings will work fine.

ie9Internet Explorer (v.9)

  • From the “gear-like” icon on the toolbar select Safety>Tracking Protection…. Click the “Get a Tracking Protection List online” link.  From the site choose as many lists as you like, but I recommend subscribing to: Abine TPL, EasyList+ and Stop Google Tracking TPL.

The tracking lists and blocked ads are subscriptions that are updated automatically (if you stuck to the default settings).  Advanced settings allow you to turn off blocking on selected sites that you trust or add specific sites that you want to block and these settings will be remembered. 

It’s interesting (to me at least) that when it comes to user-controlled tracking protection,  FF and IE follow different philosophies.  First, neither does it by default, requiring the user to initiate blocking on their own.  But FF requires third-party addons that must add at least a little to the programming overhead, while IE has the coding built in and only needs the data to implement this function.  I can say that browsing the web with these browser modifications is much more enjoyable and responsive.

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