- Internet & the Web
Understanding "Do Not Track Me"
Maintain Your Privacy Online
Are you being tracked by websites that you haven't even visited? This sounds like a "big brother" scenario, doesn't it? But, it's all too real!
Tracking by websites is an important tool in online marketing. It allows internet marketing systems to post adverts, tailored to your interests, on the internet pages that you visit. You may see, for example, age and gender appropriate adverts on your Facebook page.
In the past, it has been hard to prevent this because often the opt-outs and tools available were not very reliable or user-friendly. Do Not Track gives us a simple way of opting out of third-party tracking by websites, such as advertising networks and social platforms that we do not visit.
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Video on Do Not Track
What Are These Cookie Things? - do they taste nice?
Sadly these computer cookies are not edible! (oh, for a choc-chip short-cake, right now...)
Browser cookies are small chunks (choc-chips on my mind..?) of information sent by a website and stored by your computer browser. Cookies are used to manage your session on the website, to personalise your experience of the website or to track your browsing habits. Some cookies are very helpful, for example, if you have registered with a website (like Squidoo!), the web server may send a cookie to your browser containing the username you last used to log.
Cookies don't carry viruses or install malware, but tracking cookies are used as a way of compiling long-term records about the websites you visit. This major privacy issue has prompted European and US law makers to take action.
Wikipedia has a good page on cookies, if you want to know more - see links below.
So, What Is Do Not Track?
Some websites have buttons, widgets and other features that allow other websites to collect information about you. These integrated web services mean that websites that you have never visited are able find out about you even if you haven't clicked on the button or widget.
Do Not Track (DNT) is a simple way to let these integrated web services know that you do not want this information collected. Essentially, it is a privacy preference, using an HTTP header that signals your preference to opt-out. The DNT setting is supported by the more recent versions of browsers such as Firefox (version 5+), Safari (version 9+) and Internet Explorer (9+). For Chrome (version 17.0 or higher), you will need a third-party extension to enable DNT.
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How do I use Do Not Track?
The Do Not Track feature is not usually enabled by default. So, if you want to use it, you must enable it.
In Firefox, you will need to go to the Privacy pane. On Windows, you go to Tools > Options > Privacy. Find the box next to "Tell websites I do not want to be tracked", and click it.
The Twitter Help Center gives information on how to enable DNT in different types of browser. I give the link below.
How the Websites Support Do Not Track
Are you the next James Bond?
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