These tools can protect your online privacy

These tools can protect your online privacy

– You know how that one ad follows you everywhere around the internet? Those ads are incredibly annoying and they’re kind of a perpetual reminder that you’re not anonymous online. No matter where you go, someone knows what you’ve been up to. Maybe you looked at a sneaker
on your laptop last week, and now ads for it are
appearing on news sites, on your Facebook feed,
maybe even on your phone. That happens because
websites and advertisers, they want to track us
all across the internet. That’s helpful in some cases. You want a website to remember
that you’re logged in, but it’s not helpful in
a lot of other instances. Most of it is that
advertisers can make sure that you’re seeing their ads, or so that they can target you with even more specific ads based on what you’ve been looking at. It means they’re collecting a ton of information on you. That’s something you
shouldn’t have to put up with. And there’s some easy
ways to put a stop to it. (upbeat music) So maybe you’re thinking, well, I have private browsing mode. It’s available on Chrome,
Firefox, you name it. And that mode is helpful, but it doesn’t have everything you need. Part of privacy mode
basically creates a new, untouched identity every time you open up the browser and wipes it away once you close the screen. That’s really helpful if
you’re on a shared computer and you want to say
buy a gift for somebody without leaving any traces behind, but it’s not good for long-term use because you actually do want your browser to remember some things. You might not want Amazon to have its ads tracking you everywhere, but you do want Amazon to remember that you’re logged in. So how do we do that? You need to start blocking companies from following you around the web. And that’s actually really easy to do because most browsers
have an option for it. Safari actually has it enabled by default, but Chrome, Firefox, and
Edge all have an option in their privacy settings to
block third-party cookies. That’s a good, safe place to start that’ll increase your privacy. Okay, so what does it
actually mean though? What are all these cookies and ad trackers we’ve been talking about? Well, a cookie is a chunk of data that web sites store on your computer. At its most basic level, this could be Facebook
storing your login credentials to keep you signed in,
which is good and helpful. Now one website can’t
access the cookies stored by another website. But the problem is, ad
companies can work for and be present on multiple sites. That lets them gain your
browsing information from one place to use in another. So for example, maybe you’re looking at Legos on a web store. Then the next day, you’re on some completely different website, but you see an ad for the
Legos you were looking at yesterday. That happened because the
first site you were on, had an ad module that’s also on the second site you’re visiting. That ad can check your saved cookie to see what you were looking at yesterday and show you an ad for it today. That gets even creepier when
it happens across devices. Advertising data isn’t
just kept on your computer. Some of it ends up back
on advertisers’ servers. So if you use multiple devices
on the same WiFi network, that network could
identify them as belonging to the same person. So an advertiser might
be able to figure out that the same person who looked at Legos on a laptop is also the
person who owns this phone. And now the ad is on your phone too. This all happens for a couple reasons. For one, advertisers
want to know who you are, so they can target ads to you. And two, they want to make sure
you actually saw their ads. They get what they’re paying for. Even if you find personalized ads helpful, it’s hard to argue the web
hasn’t come packed with trackers and advertisers haven’t
taken things a bit too far. So that option built into
your browser can help, but it’s not perfect. Some work better than others and none of them block everything. If you’re really serious about it, you can start to download
browser extensions that’ll do even more. If you’re on a desktop, one I
really like is Privacy Badger from the non-profit
electronic frontier foundation or the EFF. It doesn’t block all trackers outright, instead it sort of learns
as you’re browsing. It only blocks the ones that
it thinks are misbehaving. So you might still see some trackers, but they shouldn’t be too invasive. You might want to do the same thing on your phone too. You can download a browser that automatically blocks trackers like Firefox Focus, which is available on iOS and Android. Or if you’re on iOS and
want to keep using Safari, you can download a content blocker, like 1Blocker, which will allow you to block trackers and a lot more too. You should also be mindful
of privacy settings where they’re available to you. Facebook and Google both
operate immense ad networks, and they each give you
some degree of control over how much data
they’re collecting on you, and how much they personalize their ads. Other ad networks even let you opt out of some tracking if you go
to Anything that gives you an
option like this is helpful, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that advertisers are no longer collecting and storing data on you. If you want to go even further to protect your privacy,
there’s more you can do. You can download an extension
like HTTPS Everywhere, which is also from the EFF, which makes sure that you’re always going to the secure version of
websites whenever possible. And if you really, really need to browse privately because
of surveillance concerns or censorship, there’s always Tor, which goes a long way to
protect your privacy online. This isn’t something that
most people are gonna need, but if you’re really concerned about it, you should know that it’s an option, and it’s easier to get
started with than you think. You really just need to download and install the Tor browser. I think the best place to start is that option in your
browser that blocks some of the trackers online. It’s not gonna break anything, and it’s gonna make the web
feel a little bit less creepy. Thanks for watching, this is
from our new series Workflow. If you liked watching it,
let us know in the comments and be sure to check out Verge Science, which is our newest YouTube channel.

100 Replies to “These tools can protect your online privacy”

  1. That block cookies option in browser is doing almost nothing!! It just sends the server a response with DNT (Do Not Track) 'preference', which the server can and generally do choose to ignore.

  2. I just went to the verge homepage and it made 523 requests and downloaded over 12MB of data. 11.3MB of that was from ad networks. Having fun online 🙂

  3. I don’t know I like adds of products that I want, I don’t want to se add for products that are irrelevant to me.

  4. Tor Browser doesn't protect your identity as much as this video suggests. It will hide your IP address and location, but that's about it. You're still susceptible to DNS leaks and digital fingerprinting, the latter of which is sometimes used by ad networks. If you're avoiding surveillance, censorship, or state-sponsored hackers, then it's just not going to do enough to protect you. That's not to mention that the entity from whom you're trying to hide could very well be operating the Tor exit node through which you're communicating with the internet.

  5. HTTPS everywhere isn't really helpful in terms of third party advertisers. But I'd recommend it anyways so that as many websites as possible are encrypted.

  6. There's a problem with Tor though: if you want to "obfuscate" all your traffic, you have to use an operating system like Whonix or Qubes, where Whonix is built into. As you see: the problem of privacy is a thing that can be approached quite thoroughly. But that's something everyone has to decide himself.

  7. Ublock origin + NoScript + Https everywhere and Ghostery on Firefox.
    Not using Chrome should be probably the first step. Browser developed by the biggest AD company with the most advanced tracking? No thank you.

  8. Why would someone want less specific Ads? I don't get it. I'm 25 years old I don't want to see a SINGLE Ad meant for kids or older adults. Someone please tell me why they want to see ads for things they would never want.

  9. So if you want to do away with ad tracking does that mean you are ok paying each and every website you visit in order to view their content? Without ad revenue, publishers would have to find other revenue streams which means they would have to charge to access their content.
    If you do away with the ability to target ads based on your online behavior (not personal identifiable data) the user experience will suffer greatly and advertiser's performance will also suffer causing advertisers to reduce spending and eventually lead to paying for access to content. Utlilizing online behaviors (data) isn't a bad thing, there is a difference in that and someones personal identifiable data.

    Everyone up in arms over this but noone thinks about the massive amounts of direct mail they receive addressed specifically to them based on consumer data, including financial data, the type of car you drive, the amount of installment debt and more.

  10. I ignore 99.9% percent of the ads. If I don't have the money, or the time, or desire for a change… Don't bother me.

  11. The cross-device targeting was freaky the first time it happened. "WTF? I looked at that on Safari on my phone yesterday, and now I'm seeing it in ads on Chrome on my desktop today!"

  12. I don't care about companies using cookies on me. Ads are everywhere, so, if have to watch them, at least, let them be about thigns I'm interested on.

  13. Just use the Brave browser ( that even protects you from fingerprinting which does no other browser or plugin right now.

  14. How could you miss uBlock origin?? It's one of most effective and open source ad-blocker available.
    Anyone using it?

  15. In fact just before this video, the ad played was the ad that has been following me for the past few days

  16. i would suggest to stop using chrome altogether. I use firefox with the "noScript" addon, in which i chose exactly which scripts i wanna run. also https everywhere is great as well as your standard adblocker.

  17. okay these are helpful when i use browser, but what when i use apps like amazon on smartphone and i see a product and then they overview the same ad on instagram or facebook even when i connected with wifi on my pc or laptop they put the same ad onit?

  18. Want "online privacy"?
    Pay a VPN 200$ and have "privacy" and get your data sold and abused without your knowledge officially…

  19. If course it's a privacy problem when they know what you like. But he also said it's anoying when those personalized ads are following you through the internet.
    I would rather say a ton of ads for stuff you would never buy are much more anoying. Also more ads are more anoying than fewer ads. And while I'm not saing due to personalization they are actually showing us fewer ads, at least it would be possible to show us fewer ads to get the same effect.

    Yes, it is a problem. But it's not anoying. And perhaps this makes the problem even bigger because we are more likely to accept it.

  20. You can't make a video like this wihtout talking about Firefox's container feature.
    The functionality is already built into the browser but you need an add-on like "Multi-Account-Containers" to use it.
    For example you can create a Facebook container and then tell the add-on to always open Facebook in that container. Every container has its own set of cookies. So when you open a website without the Facebook container, the website can't access the cookies of you actual Facebook account.

    Of course this is not perfect. This only stops advertisers to connect your browsing behaviour with your accounts containing your personal information. But at least for me that's what's most important. But they still are able to just slap an anonymous number on you and folow you with that number.
    So I think it would be a nice idea if you have a separate setting for every single container and one for the use of no container where you can set that the browser shouldn't accept any cookies in that mode.

  21. Use a Decentralized VPN such as the one released by Sentinel Group. This ensures total privacy over your computer! All the others mentioned by the Verge are crucial as well!

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