What’s the harm in trackers? How can you stop trackers? One thing at a time. In the harm category, trackers take personal information about you and sell it. Google, Facebook, and other pervasive entities have a huge dossier of your personal data that is so detailed you would call it government spying.
Stop. Trackers. Now.
Tracking has become so pervasive and so commonplace and so dangerous that we may see government intervention in the U.S. in a future administration. There are three things you can do. First, do nothing. Let it be. Google’s applications and services are free because we agree– without really knowing what we agreed to– to give up some privacy. The same holds true with Facebook. Free social media. Facebook runs ads and takes private information.
If you do nothing, the personal dossier gets more detailed, and that means you will be manipulated and persuaded by advertisers and influencers forever. There is a price to pay. Literally.
Second, you can go off the grid entirely. No electricity. No internet. No running water. Yes, A Country Boy Can Survive.
If you are not completely happy with either scenario, then what else can you do?
Stop the trackers.
This isn’t easy and may not work in every instance, but it could be worth it to you because advertisers and promoters do not seek only to sell you something to match the portfolio in your dossier, but to influence your thinking; actions, politics, religion, and more. Or, worse.
First, don’t use Google as your search engine. Google tracks you and your searches. Second, don’t use Google applications on Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Plenty of good– and free– alternatives exist. That includes Gmail. Free apps are like free Kool-Aid. It may taste good, but a steady diet of sugar water is not good for long term health.
Third, block the trackers. That means you need to disguise who you are while you travel the interwebs. Instead of relying only on your local ISP or cellphone provider, consider a VPN– virtual private network– preferably one that does not keep logs. I use NordVPN but there are many available. That helps to protect your Mac or other device.
Blocking trackers means you need to know who they are, and many apps on the Mac– iPhone and iPad, too– phone home or use Google Analytics to track users. For the Mac, Little Snitch is the choice to find and block apps that phone home with information about you. Once you set it up, it works mostly unattended.
Finally, be careful of which websites you visit. All of the major websites track their visitors. Ad blockers and tracker blockers can help. Google Analytics is the single most used tracking system for websites. It’s free and obtains information that Google– and websites– use to learn more about their readers.
Mac360– and all the Villagers websites– do not use Google Analytics. No trackers. Choose wisely which websites you visit. Those trackers suck up valuable browsing time and bandwidth. Google can be stopped but it takes a degree of diligence and effort.
The alternative is a growing cadre of trackers which take information about you and use it against you to manipulate your thinking and influence your purchases in ways so subtle you don’t know what has happened.