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Ghostery-Whose Watching You

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 7:31 AM on July 29, 2011

http://www.ghostery.com/images/Ghostery-Logo.pngHave you ever been on a site and wondered who might be looking at your activity and tracking you as you browse about the Internet. Well now you can know by using an extension called Ghostery. Ghostery is available for Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Opera. It looks for scripts, pixels and other information that indicates a company’s code is present on the page. Often that information is not available in the source code and therefore is invisible to the consumer. Ghostery only collects information from users who opt in to GhostRank and then it is aggregated data. The information is never used for advertising purposes. Evidon who owns Ghostery uses the information collected to discover new trackers on the Internet. They also track whether the ads are compliant with the industries self-policing standards. You can see further detail on Ghostery privacy policy by visiting their site. You have the option to use Ghostery to block bugs if you want, however it is experimental.

I’ve been using Ghostery for about a month now and is interesting to see how many ad and other companies are tracking you as you browse the web. Most sites will have about five or six companies listed. There are sites that have over 20 tracking bugs on them. After using Ghostery for a while you will notice the same names coming up again and again; Google Ad-sense, Google Analytics, [DoubleClick are three of the more popular bugs. There are also names you will not recognize like Unica, which is part of IBM. When you are on a web site you can click on the Ghostery extension and then the company link and look at the code and scripts that Ghostery is seeing. You can also get further information on those companies by following the link on the script page. I have not used Ghostery to block scripts or bugs, so I don’t know how well that works. Based on my experience so far with Ghostery, I suspect it works well .

I like Ghostery because it is easy to use, it gives a lot of information and it is transparent in what it is doing. Do you an extension similar to Ghostery, what does it have that Ghostery doesn’t.

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