It’s no secret that there are no secrets on the internet.
Google an item and related ads start appearing on seemingly all websites you visit.
Post something on Facebook, and suddenly ads become a lot more personal.
Pick up the phone during election season and the caller mysteriously knows your’ political hot buttons.
As we posted before, if you think that you’re being followed around on the net … you’re right.
So how do you avoid having your browsing linked to your real identity online?
The Wall StreetJournal offers up a couple of ideas:
- Log Out of Social Networks … don’t “stay signed in” or just leave the page … log out.
- Don’t “like” anything … it just triggers another piece profile data
- When done on a site, clear its cookies … more on this below.
- Establish one or more non-personal email addresses … e.g. NotReallyMe@Yahoo.com … and use it when signing up for newsletters, etc
- Use aliases – unless, of course, when you’re buying something (that would be fraud) … there is no rule that says you need to use your real or full name online to, say, just sign-up with a site.
These steps will keep your profile from growing, but remember, they’ve already got a lot of info on you.
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Clearing cookies on a site
OK, here’s my value-added … a handy trick.
If you want to clear the cookies from a site you’ve been visiting, simply hit F12 (while still browsing the site) and a coding box appears at the bottom.
Don’t be intimidated by the box … a couple of clicks are all that’s required.
Simply click the “Cache” button on the ribbon and a drop down menu will appear.
Then, click “Clear cookies for (this) domain” and you’re done.
The cookies for the site will be automatically purged.
To get rid of the coding box, just hit F12 again.