COLUMBUS (WCMH) – More than three billion people use the Internet, but everyone likes their privacy.
Mike Jackson received a call from Doug Sneed on the far-east side of Columbus who suspects advertisers are following him online. He’s right.
The good news is, you can stop them.
First, here’s how they’re tracking you. They’re using cookies.
Cookies are small files on almost every website on your computer. The files store your settings and preferences so that you don’t have to re-enter the same information over and over. These ‘first-party’ cookies are usually harmless.
However, there are other types of cookies called ‘third-party’ cookies. These are the ones that spy on you and track you from site to site.
So, for example, if you order sporting goods and shoes online, and the third-party cookie records your visit, a visit to another website will show ads related to shoes and sports apparel.
There are ways to protect yourself from the prying eyes of advertisers.
- Internet Explorer – Go to the Privacy tab and click the Advanced button. Check the “Override automatic cookie handling” option, and then set “Third-party Cookies” to “Block.” Click the OK button.
- Google Chrome – In the Privacy section, click on the Content Settings button. Under Cookies, check the “Block third-party cookies and site data” option and click Done.
- Firefox – Go to the Privacy tab and under History, set “Firefox will” to “Use custom settings for history.” Then set “Accept third-party cookies” to “never.”
- Safari – Pull down the Safari menu and select the Privacy tab. Choose the option to block cookies from third parties and advertisers.