Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ghostery: Detect. Learn. Control.

• Price: Free (Forever, according to the Ghostery website.)
• Developer: Ghostery is a service of Evidon, Inc.
• Browsers supported: Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer
• Web site: http://www.ghostery.com/
• Our rating: 5/5 (Woo-hoo!)

What an absolutely frightening application this turned out to be. And in all of the best ways possible. After a few days of use we are huge fans - and wonder why we thought it was safe to browse without this remarkable, tiny little browser add-on.

Each and every page you browse to, this one included, has some technological hook that snares information about you. Some of these are pretty safe, like the Facebook Social Plugins or the Statcounter project code, or a Twitter badge.

Many of the others are safe as well, but collect information about you that can be passed along to advertisers or, worse yet, follow you as you move from page to page across the web.

Say "No More!" loudly and enthusiastically. Enter GHOSTERY.

Easily installed, this little browser add-on will tell you what "bugs" you are encountering on each and every page you visit. Ghostery alerts you to ... and can block ... any of more than 500 of these annoyances.

DETECT: "Ghostery sees the invisible web - tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons"

LEARN: "After showing you who's tracking you, Ghostery also gives you a chance to learn more about each company it identifies."

CONTROL: "Ghostery allows you to block scripts from companies that you don't trust, delete local shared objects, and even block images and iframes."

I cannot tell you how empowering it feels to see the line-throughs on "bugs" that Ghostery kept from loading. Use this everywhere you go.

Be safe out there!

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