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Ever wonder how many companies are tracking you on the net? Which websites are the worst offenders? Now, Safari and other browsers do allow you to browse anonymously, but that can cause problems with sites that require tracking cookies for log-in purposes. You can also set your browser preferences to only accept cookies from the actual site and not third-party cookies.

I recently found a neat plug-in for Safari that blocks all tracking cookies by default, Do Not Track Plus. This nice freebie is available for Mac or PC, Safari, FIrefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. And did I mention that it’s free? It’s easy to use. Install it, then forget about it. I have yet to find a site where I’ve had to disable it. It appears to work nicely in the background.

Everyone worries about Facebook tracking. Well, according to DNTP, it blocked Facebook from tracking me on 229 other sites. Now, I guarantee that I haven’t visited that many sites since installing it, but I’m sure there are some sites that are tied to FB and tried multiple trackings.

MacNN.com has 6 companies trying to track you.

Our own MacGroup Detroit iBBS has only Google AdSense tracking us. This is about as clean as you can get.

So, if you are worried about being tracked on the web, or if you’re just curious about who is tracking you, try Do Not Track Plus. If nothing else, it’s very interesting.

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  • arrakian

    Phyl,
    I tried downloading this and got a message that my browser wasn’t supported. I see in your article that you’re using Safari (Like me). How’d you get it to work?

    • Phyllis Evans

      Try this link:
      http://download.cnet.com/Do-Not-Track-Plus-for-Safari/3000-2378_4-75653419.html

      Just tried the original link on my MacBook, and didn’t have a problem. Downloaded the file, double-clicked it and it installed in the latest Safari.

      • arrakian

        Your link is different than the page I got from their site link. I’m on Safari 5.05; do you think that mattered?

        I used your link to DL and install it. How do I get it to show the blocked sited like you have in the article? When I click on the button in Safari, nothing happens.

        • Phyllis Evans

          Just s quick click on the icon should bring up the pop-up window. If all else fails, try quitting and restarting Safari.

          • arrakian

            There must be a problem with Safari 5.05 and this add-on. I click the icon (after restarting), and nothing happens.

          • Phyllis Evans

            Weird. I’m on 5.1.3.

  • Barbara Schwartz

    I downloaded the application but nothing happens when I try to install. I can’t even find it using Spotlight. I do have CNET Techtracker. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Phyllis Evans

      Are you sure it didn’t install? It should show as a small icon in the toolbar. Once installed, it automatically deletes ths installer.

      • Barbara Schwartz

        Got it! Thank you so much!

  • Greg

    You can also try Ghostery if Do Not Track is not working for you.

  • http://yourmacexpert.com/ Steven Klein

    Phyllis:

    Last year I took an IT Security class at Lawrence tech, and the instructor asked us “What’s a tracking cookie?” I held up my Kroger card (the keychain card you scan to get a discount) and said, “Here’s an analog example of a tracking cookie.”

    People are so concerned about online digital tracking, but I wonder how many of those same people use those retail customer loyalty cards. For everyone who has (including me), we’ve opted-in for tracking of our real-world behavior.

    • Phyllis Evans

      Agree with you completely, Steve. I’m one of those stubborn people who refuse to shop at stores that tie sale prices to a card. And in the same vein, some who balk at using a credit card online think nothing of handing it off to a waitperson in a restaurant. More credit cards are compromised locally than online.