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Ghostery: New browser extension turns you into a web detective

Ghostery helps turn you into a web detective by allowing you to track the people tracking you online and giving you the power to block them.


Ghostery will open your eyes

Every time you browse the web, sites send information about your preferences, habits, and frequently visited sites back to marketers, other web sites, and data analytical tools. Have you ever wondered which companies receive this information and what they do with it? Now you can find out with a new browser extension called Ghostery.

Ghostery shows you the invisible web, allowing you to see cookies, tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons. Then, takes the sleuth skills one step further, by allowing you to turn on, or off the ability of over 1,900 ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies have to see and use your information.

How Ghostery works

Each of those 1,900+ companies has a profile with Ghostery, detailing who they are, what they do, and what privacy policy each one holds. Once you know more about them, you decide if you want to block them. You can select a blocking option for each company. If there are some marketers you trust, you can leave them on and block other. You can also select option on a web page basis; if there are some websites you do not want anyone receiving your information, you can customize your options accordingly.

Ghostery is a completely free download and works with Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer. They also offer a mobile version for iOS, Android, and Firefox Android. Ghostery states that you are totally anonymous when using their programs. They do not collect any information about you. They hash out IP addresses and only store an encrypted string of text by stripping out any identifying information from URLs (the cut everything after a “?” in a URL).

So who receives your data? Ghostery knows

They do allow you to “donate” data to their cause by activating Ghostrank. The Ghostrank feature is off by default, so no need to worry about your data, but should you turn it on, it allows Ghostrank to receive data not about you, but about the tracking technology you see and where you use it.

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For example, the page the tracker is on, URL, browser you’re using, country you’re in, etc. If you do not want to share this data, no worries. It’s off by default and you are not required to turn it on.

If you’re interested in seeing which companies are receiving your data on your favorite websites, Ghostery is a good option to give yourself a little more control on how your information is used.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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  1. Pingback: Jude rules IP addresses not enough info for movie piracy offenders - AGBeat

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