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The best Chrome extensions to prevent creepy web tracking

Almost every place They visit titles trying to link your browsing history to your interests and show you targeted ads. The minute you’re looking for a new desk, you’ll be tracking the next few ads for the furniture website you checked out


This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

If you want to get a feel for how you are being tracked on the internet, take some time to read (and disable) the cookie options that appear each time you visit a new website. They give you an idea of ​​the technology each website uses to track their visitors and what information they collect. (The consent preferences for WIRED are controlled by the parent company Condé Nast.)

As the “Do Not Track”

; setting in browsers becomes unusable, web browsers increasingly change their privacy information. Apple’s Safari browser has improved its anti-tracking technology, and Firefox has been blocking trackers by default since 2018.

Google Chrome also plans to remove third-party cookies. However, this will not happen until 2022 and there are still important questions about how to implement the change.

In the meantime, it is best to access a web browser that puts privacy first to stop the creepy web tracking. For some people, this step might be too radical or impractical right now. If you are, there is another way to fight back against online tracking: bring blocking technology into your current browser. These browser extensions are an easy first step in improving your online privacy.

Data protection badger

Privacy Badger is one of the best options for blocking online tracking on your current browser. First of all, it was launched by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US-based nonprofit digital rights group that has been fighting online privacy battles since 1990. It’s free too.

Privacy Badger tracks all elements of the websites you visit, including plugins and advertisements served by external companies. If these appear on multiple websites that you visit, the extension will tell your browser to stop loading that content. The organization states that it does not keep lists of items to block, but detects trackers when you browse the internet and is more effective over time.

Like many of the extensions on this list, the tool also shows you which trackers are blocked on each site you visit. This includes how many trackers and what type each website is using. You can disable the tool for individual websites and change settings if you don’t mind some websites being followed. There are Privacy Badger extensions for Chrome, Firefox (desktop and Android), Microsoft Edge, and Opera.


DuckDuckGo is known for its anonymous search engine that does not collect any personal data. In recent years, however, the company has also become increasingly concerned with privacy controls across the web (including the introduction of its own mobile browser). DuckDuckGo also makes an extension for Chrome.

The Privacy Essentials extension blocks hidden third-party trackers and shows you which ad networks you’ve been tracking on the internet over time. The tool also highlights how websites collect data through partnering with terms of use that have not been read and provides ratings for the websites’ privacy policies. It also adds its non-tracking search to Chrome.


The New York-based company with five different tools is owned by the same company as Cliqz, a privacy-focused browser and search engine that shut down earlier this year due to the effects of Covid-19. But Ghostery lives on.

The browser extension blocks trackers and shows lists of which are blocked for each site (including those that are slow to load), allows you to set up trusted and restricted sites, and allows you to block ads. The main Ghostery extension is free, but there is also a subscription for $ 49 per month that has detailed breakdowns of all trackers and can be used for analysis or research. There are Ghostery extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera.

Adblock Plus

Unlike other tools here, Adblock Plus is marketed primarily as an ad blocking tool. The others don’t necessarily block ads by default, but rather are meant to be privacy tools that limit the most intrusive types of ads. Using an ad blocker brings with it different ethical considerations than tools designed to prevent overly intrusive web tracking. Ad blockers block a much larger number of elements on a website. This can include ads that don’t follow people on the web.

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