In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned a Firefox add-on called “Collusion”, which displayed third-party tracking cookies in a circle graph, allowing you to see from what sites these cookies are coming. After its experimental phase ended and the add-on launched for real, it changed its name to Lightbeam. This add-on is an important step in understanding how your activity is being tracked simply by going about your everyday business online. Many people might see an alarming number of circles and triangles fanning out from their favorite websites, while others who are more conscious about their online privacy will see very few. The less white you see on your Lightbeam add-on, the better:
It’s never too late to take privacy into your own hands. Do you want to be advertised to every time you open up your browser? Are you sure you want strangers and corporations finding out your likes and dislikes for the sole purpose of being better equipped to sell you something? Keep in mind that Lightbeam only shows you who is tracking you; it doesn’t do anything to prevent it from happening. To maximize your security at even the most basic level, install Adblock Plus and Ghostery. It takes a while to set up so you don’t block your favorite social buttons, or to show support for your favorite Youtube channels that make money from ad revenue, but it’s well worth your time. Time is not an excuse, because it only takes minutes. Difficulty is not an excuse, because setup is very easy. What are you waiting for?