Website user behavior tracking, Do Not track, and opt-out from personalization browser based!

Apart from Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy, many Web browsers use various web services to improve user’s browsing experience by transmitting user’s website surfing behavior. However, you may optionally disable such services – the process is specific to browsers as describe below.

There are a lot of web services that web browsers use to track users, namely

  • Using web services to help resolve navigation errors
  • Using prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar or the app launcher search box in Google Chrome
  • Predicting network actions to improve page load performance
  • Automatically reporting details of possible security incidents to browser developers or authors
  • Enabling phishing and malware protection (this might be an essential feature!)
  • Using web services to help resolve spelling errors
  • Automatically sending web browser usage statistics and crash reports to the browser developers or authors
  • Sending a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic (this might be a desired feature for many!)

Choosing proper privacy settings for your browser helps you surf websites without worrying about your behavior being tracked and opting out from personalization in ads and contents – however this can never be 100% sure.

Opt-out from Personalization & Do Not Track Settings

Many web services deliver personalized recommendations and advertisements to their readers based on their pas articles read, shared or interest shown in the ads. Personalization uses cookies technology to generate reading or suring history. Non-personalized contents can be preferred by opting out from tracking either by deleting or disabling cookies and selecting “Do Not Track” feature from your browser (Read: Google Chrome’s Do Not Track policy).

Frequently Asked Questions on Do Not Track (DNT)

The web industry now takes Do Not Track (DNT) serious as this is directly related to user’s right to be tracked for commercial purposed by the advertisers and other third party websites. The following FAQs on DNT is taken from Mozilla Firefox Web Browser – DNT – help page and other browser help pages.

What is Do Not Track?

Do Not Track is a step toward putting you in control of the way your information is collected and used online. DNT is a feature in browsers that allows you to let a website know you would like to opt-out of third-party tracking for purposes including behavioral advertising. It does this by transmitting a Do Not Track HTTP header every time your data is requested from the Web.

Is Do Not Track available on mobile browsers?

Yes. Most of the smartphone browsers now have made DNT feature available. Firefox for Android is the first mobile Web browser to offer the Do Not Track privacy feature, and behaves the same way it does on the desktop. To turn Do Not Track in mobile browsers, visit respective settings from privacy to “Tell sites not to track me” to turn this option on or off – this setting is exactly the one as described below.

Does Do Not Track block ads?

No, you will still see ads with Do Not Track enabled. However, Do Not Track may change the type of ads you see. For example, behavioral ads are targeted to your interests based on the websites you visit and the search terms you use.

If you request that websites Do Not Track you, and the sites respect your privacy preferences, you will see more generic ads in place of behavioral ads.

How does Do Not Track work with other privacy tools?

Do Not Track is one of many privacy solutions. Do Not Track does not replace your anti-virus software, will not encrypt data, and is not a security mechanism. There are several other privacy and security features within Firefox.

Will Do Not Track affect the rest of my Web experience?

Do Not Track may interfere with some personalized services you enjoy. For example, a Do Not Track request might mean you would have to type in your zip code each time you want to view a weather report, rather than seeing the weather automatically displayed. Personalization on websites can save you time and repetitive typing, but it requires data.

How do I enable Do Not Track in Firefox, Chrome and Popular browsers?

In most of the Internet browsers, DNT feature is not enabled by default. You can find the Do Not Track request on the Privacy pane. On Windows, go to Tools > Options… > Privacy.

Click to check the box next to “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked”. Visit individual Internet Browser’s Privacy and Personalization step by step settings to enable DNT as explained below.

Will companies honor my Do Not Track preference?

Companies are starting to support Do Not Track, but you may not notice any changes initially. We are actively working with companies that have started to implement Do Not Track, with others who have committed to doing so soon.

Where can I learn more about DNT privacy feature?

Other interesting work about Do Not Track and online privacy:

Choose your web browser to learn how to turn on and off the privacy settings, cookies & DNT:

Microsoft Edge (Windows 10)
Microsoft Edge Browser DNT Privacy Settings in Windows 10
Microsoft Edge Browser DNT Privacy Settings in Windows 10

Do Not Track is not enabled by default in Windows 10’s all new browser Microsoft Edge Browser (also in the Microsoft Project Spartan). Click the setting pane, at the top right corner of the Edge Browser.

Follow the navigation actions, More actions (three dots • • •) >> Settings >> Advanced settings (view advanced settings) >> turn on “Do Not Track” requests. Along with DNT feature, you can also enable or disable options to set cookies by third parties or cookies by all websites, plus disable “Use Adobe Flash Player” option which has recently been thru security breach.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome:

Optimum browser privacy settings for Google Chrome
Optimum browser privacy settings for Google Chrome

How to turn off privacy setting in Google Chrome?

  1. Go to the top-right corner of the browser window, tap or click the Chrome menu icon that looks like SNP 9721C573E41777FBA43E1498AD084E3B160C 2696434 en v2.
  2. Select Settings >> go to Show advanced settings >> Privacy.
  3. Un/check any privacy settings according to your desire. When you turn a privacy setting off, that information will NOT be sent to Google from Google Chrome browser.

Content settings in Google Chrome

Opt your desired content setting for the Cookies

  1. Allow local data to be set – recommended
  2. Keep local data only until you quite your browser  – safe mode
  3. Block web sites from setting any data – safe mode
  4. Block third-party cookies and site data – blocks most advertisement & third party behavior tracking cookies

However, you can always supply cookie and site data exceptions by entering hostname and the behavior to allow or to disallow. Hence, you can customize your need to let some websites track and use your personal information. The same applies with images, JavaScript, Handlers, Plug-ins, Pop-ups, Geo-location tracking, Desktop notifications and others.

Mozilla Firefox

Do Not Track from Firefox Internet Browser is an offering that lets users express their preference not to be tracked by websites within the browser. When this feature is enabled, advertising networks and other websites plus applications that user want to opt-out of tracking for purposes like behavioral advertising is not carried.

Firefox browser Do Not Track Privacy Setting
Firefox browser Do Not Track Privacy Setting

On your Firefox browser, open Options for “Settings for privacy, browsing history and do-not-track”. On the Privacy tab, you can select an option on tracking to tell sites that I do not want to be tracked. Plus, Firefox can also be checked for browsing history, search history and cookies. This way you can delete cookies set by websites in Firefox.

Microsoft Internet Explorer
Microsoft Internet Explorer

Opera Browser
Opera Browser

Maxthon Browser
Maxthon Browser