Web

DoNotTrackMe browser add on protects your privacy when Do Not Track doesn’t

DoNotTrackMe Abine

Internet regulators, the U.S. government, and the advertising industry have been working for a while now on a thing called ‘Do Not Track,’ a bit of code sent from your browser that tells advertisers not to keep tabs on your online activities. It sounds good – problem is, it doesn’t work. Like, not even a little bit.

This is because advertisers have no obligation to honor Do Not Track (DNT), and most don’t. Some even think that DNT should allow tracking – crazy, I know. Plus, there are a whole slew of other data collectors that track you online that never had any intention of paying attention to DNT, and you need to worry about them just as much as advertisers, maybe more. So what’s a privacy conscious Web user to do?

One great option is to install DoNotTrackMe (DNTMe), the latest anti-tracking browser plugin from Abine. An update of Abine’s DoNotTrackPlus (DNT+), DNTMe includes 200 more advertising companies, and 630 total tracking technologies, on its block list. Abine has also included new analytics charts in DNTMe, which show you exactly which companies are tracking you, as well as the total number of tracking attempts blocked by the plugin. DNTMe also gives you the ability to pick and choose which websites you want to allow tracking technologies to work on, as some sites will not work properly without them. You can also turn on or off tracking from specific advertisers or analytics companies.

The other major update that arrives with DNTMe is the removal of things called “advertiser opt-out cookies.” These cookies are actually “good” for your privacy, as they tell specific advertisers not to track you or show you targeted ads – but, of course, that’s not why Abine removed them. Instead, advertiser opt-out cookies are absent from DNTMe for two reasons: First, a lot of people think all cookies are bad, so when DNT+ let these cookies through, people were getting upset and confused with Abine. Second, the opt-out cookies don’t necessarily stop advertisers from tracking you.

“You’re setting these [opt-out] cookies that advertisers have put out, ostensibly to stop tracking, but in many cases they’re actually not stopping the collection of your data,” says Abine privacy expert Sarah Downey. “Whereas we can actually do that through just simply blocking tracking, which actually works, and is way more effective, and is really simple for our users.”

Downey says that, with DNT+, Abine “wanted to support the advertisers self-regulatory efforts. But when it comes down to it, these opt-out cookies are a failure of advertiser self-regulation. And our users really didn’t like them.”

DNTMe is currently available for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox, and can be downloaded from Abine’s website for free. Once installed a blue-and-white “cross hairs” icon will appear on your browser’s menu bar. Click it to see exactly who’s trying to keep tabs on your activities.

Image via KonstantinChristian/Shutterstock

Business

How to start your online business in 6 simple steps

Making the right choices now can greatly impact your success down the line, and the last thing you want to do is spend your energy revisiting old decisions instead of growing your company.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.