Top Marks

The web is a surveillance society - from Evercookie to KISSmetrics, everybody wants to know what you're doing and where, and they're willing to pay good money for it.

If the thought of having your life collated, codified and flogged doesn't sit well with you (considering the furore this Facebook tracking post caused you're not alone) here are some privacy-oriented plugins to facilitate covert browsing:

  • Disconnect disables third-party tracking (from Digg, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo) and handily depersonalizes searches, thwarting the Filter Bubble
  • Facebook Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers
  • TrackMeNot (Firefox) periodically issues randomized search-queries to popular search engines, hiding users' actual search trails in a cloud of 'ghost' queries
  • Ghostery tracks who's tracking you and provides a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers and web publishers interested in your activity
  • Tor (portable) Browser Bundle lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. Slow, with mild concerns about edge nodes, but certainly the most secure (legal) way to route traffic

And the essential ad-blocking add-ons:

  • Adblock (Chrome) prevents ads downloading, also available for Safari
  • Adblock Plus the most current Firefox ad-blocking offering (also cross-platform)
  • AdFree Android (for rooted phones) removes most ads in the browser and other apps by redirecting DNS lookups to localhost