Reduce Privacy Erosion While Online

Most users of free Internet tools know that they are often trading privacy for convenience. The trade off often starts at the top, with the user’s browser of choice. While popular browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari all value security, their business model makes privacy a lower priority.  For instance, John Simek recently blogged about an article from Bleeping Computer that noted that many popular browsers will no longer allow users to disable hyperlink auditing. Hyperlink auditing lets a website embed special links that “ping back” to track clicks. Privacy advocates recommend disabling hyperlink auditing. However, newer versions of Chrome, Safari, and Opera will no longer allow users to disable hyperlink auditing. If allowing a website to determine what links you clicked on bothers you there are options. Firefox and Brave Browser currently disable hyperlink auditing by default.

However, as noted by the many comments to the Bleeping Computer article, most hyperlink tracking occurs using scripting languages like Javascript or redirection. While you certainly can support browsers that maintain a high priority focus on privacy, you don’t necessarily have to stop using your favorite browser. Chrome extensions Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin help improve privacy by blocking ads, tracking, and more. If you are concerned with leveraging privacy settings and best practices to reduce targeted and intrusive advertising, tracking, and data collection check out “Seven Privacy Protections to Put Into Place Now“.