The internet is not a private place. Ads try to learn as much about you to sell your information to the highest bidder. Emails know when you open them and which links you click. And some of the biggest internet snoops, like Facebook and Amazon, follow you from site to site as you browse the web.
By blocking hidden trackers from loading, websites can’t collect as much information about you. Additionally, by dropping the unnecessary bulk, some websites will load faster.
The tradeoff is that some websites might not load properly or refuse to let you in if you don’t let them track you. You can toggle the extensions on and off as needed, or you could ask yourself if the website was that good to begin with.
HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension made by the nonprofit internet group the Electronic Frontier Foundation that automatically loads websites over HTTPS where it’s offered and allows you to block the minority of websites that don’t support HTTPS. The extension is supported by most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera.
Another extension developed by the EFF, Privacy Badger is one of the best all-in-one extensions for blocking invisible third-party trackers on websites. This extension looks at all the components of a web page and learns which ones track you from website to website and then blocks them from loading in the browser. Privacy Badger also learns as you travel the web, so it gets better over time.
uBlock Origin is a lightweight, simple but effective, and widely trusted ad blocker used by millions of people, but it also has a ton of granularity and customizability for the more advanced user.
PixelBlock and ClearURLs
PixelBlock is a simple extension for Chrome browsers that simply blocks hidden email open trackers from loading and working. Every time it detects a tracker, it displays a small red eye in your inbox.
ClearURLs, available for Chrome, Firefox and Edge, sits in your browser and silently removes the tracking junk from every link in your browser and your inbox.
Firefox Multi-Account Containers
Firefox users can take advantage of Multi-Account Containers, built by the browser maker itself to help you isolate your browsing activity.
It also means you can put sites like Facebook or Google in a container, making it far more difficult for them to see which websites you visit and understand your tastes and interests.