In recent years, browser makers have prioritised privacy, but they have lagged in making browsers secure against ad industry trackers on the web. Many different companies use a user’s browser history to make their profile profitable and to target them for future advertisements. Here’s how to change your privacy settings to avoid online tracking.
Change Chrome Browser Privacy Settings
It is widely assumed that the world’s most popular browser, Chrome, is the least private. On the plus side, Chrome is adaptable, allowing independent developers to release strict privacy-focused extensions to shake off and limit trackers.
Click Extensions on the left side of the Chrome web store, and then type the extension’s name into the search bar. Clicking Add to Chrome on the extension of choice will open a dialogue explaining which browser permissions the extension will have. Click Add Extension to add the extension to the browser.
If you change your mind, you can always manage or remove the extensions by selecting More Tools–Extensions from the three-dot More menu on the right. By clicking on Details, one can learn more about the extension.
In Chrome, the same three-dot menu can be used to block third-party cookies by going to Settings—Privacy and Security—–Cookies and other site data—-.
Third-party cookies should be disabled.
Change Safari Browser Privacy Settings
By default, Safari keeps its users one step ahead of the game by turning on its Intelligent Tracking Prevention tool, keeping privacy invaders at bay. However, the agency hasn’t always worked flawlessly.
To see if blocking is enabled in Safari, go to Preferences–Privacy. Check the box next to Prevent cross-site tracking. There is also the option to delete the cookies manually. Click Manage Website Data to see which websites have left trackers and cookies in the browser. To get rid of any trackers that are no longer needed, click Remove next to them, or click Remove All at the bottom of your screen to get rid of everything.
If you want to add another layer of privacy, you can download useful extensions from the App Store, such as AdBlock Plus or Ghostery Lite for Safari.
Change Edge Browser Privacy Settings
On the Tracker prevention screen, Microsoft’s Edge browser’s privacy and tracker blocking are much simpler. Select the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner of the page and then Settings–Privacy and services.
There will be three settings options to choose from: Basic, Balanced, and Strict. Edge uses the Balanced setting by default, which blocks trackers from non-visited sites while still saving most places from some loading issues. Similarly, Edge’s Strict background interferes with how some areas behave and blocks the most trackers. The Basic setting prevents crypto-mining and fingerprinting trackers from running.
Change Firefox Browser Privacy Settings
Firefox’s default privacy settings are more protective than Chrome’s and Edge’s, and the browser provides more privacy options.
In Firefox’s main menu or the three-lined menu on the right side of the toolbar, select Preferences, then Privacy & Security. Three options are available for selection: Standard, Strict, and Custom. Trackers in private windows, third-party tracking cookies, and crypto miners are all blocked by default. The Strict mode provides a high level of surveillance and can break a few websites. It also blocks everything plugged in Standard way, as well as fingerprints and trackers in all windows. Custom is worth investigating if you want to fine-tune how trackers are blocked.
After selecting the level of privacy, click the Reload All Tabs button to apply the new tracking settings.