9 Best Anti Tracking Softwares To Protect Your Online Privacy
You may think that your private information is safe and secure, but you’d be surprised how much of your private information is actually circling online. Nowadays, it is really difficult to go online without having to watch your back and cover your tracks. You might be thinking that this is only paranoia, and is not true at all.
But notice how an advertisement for shoes keep flashing on your screen, a few days (or even hours) after you bought a pair of shoes from a shopping website. This is just one manifestation that all of your activities on the internet are leaving invisible footsteps. The scary truth is that more and more websites employ web tracking techniques.
What is Web Tracking?
Web tracking is the ability of a website to know what their visitors are doing in their website. This is done by using bugs or cookies that follow your every click and report these information back to the web masters. This is done behind the guise of wanting to improve your browsing experience, but are actually ways to get as much information about you so that they can create your profile. This profile is what advertisers use so they can easily bombard you with ads that you will surely be interested in.
Information that these trackers can get include the following:
- The web pages you visited;
- How long you spent on that web page;
- Your IP address (and therefore your location);
- Browsing history;
- The items you placed in your shopping cart (for online shopping).
On the flip side, these bits of information can be used to cause you harm. Think about ransomware, email phishing, identity theft, and many other cyber crimes that are becoming familiar these days. So if these information get into the wrong hands, you will have a problem. This is why people all over the world are now interested in and making use of anti tracking software.
If you don’t want other people tracking your every move online, here’s a list of anti-tracking software you might want to try:
1. Avast Anti Track
Avast Anti Track is developed by the antivirus software giant, Avast. Avast Anti Track helps you by hiding your IP address while surfing the internet. It even alerts users if they are being tracked, which is very helpful. Avast Anti Track does not only detect and block trackers, it also erases your browser history. This way, trackers won’t have access to it, making your online activities more private. The software also filters out spam messages, which is very helpful against email phishing.
2. Disconnect Browser
Disconnect is a browser that basically disconnects you from websites that it detects to be secretly storing your personal information. While browsing the internet using this secure browser, it will send you messages containing the websites that are tracking your online activities. It will then end your communication with those websites.
The down side to this is that your favorite websites might be included in their list, so you can’t visit them anymore.
Privoxy is a popular web proxy tool because it is compatible with almost all web browsers. One major advantage of Privoxy is that it is free and very efficient in blocking ads. It also makes your browsing anonymous.
Another perk for the software is it has an anti-tracking tool that filters traffic, and blocks trackers and bugs. Privoxy also gives control to its users by allowing them to change their privacy settings according to their preference.
TrackOff is another anti tracking software that stops trackers from watching your activities online. TrackOff secures your identity and personal information by giving you anonymity. TrackOff offers a holistic solution against cookie-based tracking, IP and public Wi-Fi threats, and fingerprint tracking. It also blocks suspicious cookies while keeping the useful ones. Its features include:
- Protect Mode –requires you to assign passwords for your apps so no one else can access them.
- Blackout Mode – lets you lock your apps any time you want.
Freenet is a peer to peer platform that aims to provide you freedom of speech on the internet. At the same time, it keeps you anonymous. Freenet allows its users communication and publishing without any censorship. It stores encrypted data in a decentralized network to give you a secure browsing experience. It is very difficult for hackers to get into Freenet since it does not have a central server.
6. Tor Browser
Tor Browser is probably the most popular browser when it comes to anonymous browsing.
Basically, Tor Browser enables its users to cover up their identities online by using encryption to make their location invisible. It also isolates each website you visit so ads and third party trackers can’t follow you.
Tor Browser prevents the sites you visit from learning your location and allows you to access sites that are blocked.
7. DuckDuck Go (DDG)
Duck Duck Go is an alternative search engine that does not store and give any of your personal data and information to websites or apps that are following you. It blocks advertisers from tracking you and in return lets you track the trackers who are trying to spy on you.
While searching using Duck Duck Go, your identity will be completely anonymous and there will be no recorded data of your activity. DuckDuckGo also prevents search leakage online.
Malwarebytes is an online security tool that provides excellent detecting and removing of malwares. If you use Malwarebytes, you will be able to scan individual files and whole hard drives. After scanning, Malwarebytes will visit the suspicious items that were detected and will give you an option to either quarantine, ignore, or exclude the files from all of your future scans. It also protects you on the internet by detecting and preventing you to access malicious sites, scan networks, and ads.
9. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Virtual Private Networks or VPN connects computers privately on the internet. Once you open a web browser and enter a URL on your PC, the request is immediately sent to the VPN server, before it is sent to the server of the website.
The VPN server therefore acts as an intermediary – it will request the webpage from the site on your behalf, and will send the response back to you. This means that the client device requesting it will not be seen by the website, it will only see the VPN server. All of your personal information and data will be encrypted. When you use a VPN, you will be prompted to select a server, and this server will determine your IP address. Therefore, your real IP address will be hidden, as well as your location.
There are a lot of security threats online, the most prevalent of which are hacking, data errors, and phishing. These crimes are made possible because of trackers that can get into your system through seemingly innocent websites that you visit. Different anti tracking software are in the market in order to solve this global problem.
However, the ultimate protection is to use a Virtual Private Network. When you connect your network to a VPN, all your data will be secured and encrypted. Through it, your personal information will be hidden from the eyes of spies and hackers. Compared to the other eight anti tracking software mentioned in this article, a VPN service allows you to surf the internet with complete anonymity no matter what browser or application you use.