The Internet uses your personal data. We told who, how and why they do it in the article “Digital footprint and digital shadow: what it is and how it can be dangerous for the user”. Your digital footprint can be made less distinct or invisible altogether. You can do this by installing special browser plug-ins. We tell you what the most popular plugins are, and how to use them.

Privacy Badger

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a simple plugin that blocks most of the tracking technologies that companies use to collect user data.

You may not even know that some of the technologies are end-to-end. For example, user data is collected from Amazon, and then that person is shown information relevant to his or her search queries in advertising banners on other sites.

Privacy Badger analyzes such tracking tools, automatically disabling the most dangerous ones. The rest of the “spies” can be blocked by the user.

Ghostery

This is almost the same plugin as Privacy Badger, but it has more features for managing spyware scripts on different sites.

Ghostery monitors not only scripts that spy on users, but also evaluates the “behavior” of counters, social networking plugins, players, and other elements.

If you want, you can unblock some script – for example, if its disabling violates the page design or the loading of some elements. You can disable the plugin for sites you fully trust, or you can enable a full level of security, blocking everything Ghostery is able to track and stop.

Tip – in the notifications section, it’s better to disable the “show tracker counter icon” checkbox. If you don’t, the special icon will start to show the number of blocked items, distracting you.

This plugin is available for five different browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge and Safari.

Canvas Defender

An interesting plugin that differs from the previous ones. Instead of blocking spyware elements, it feeds them “white noise”, a set of random data. As a result, it becomes impossible to create a digital fingerprint of the user’s device, so that virtually no site trackers can follow it, either in normal or in private mode.

In addition, the plugin warns if any sites try to collect personal information. The opinion of users who have already tried the plugin is unambiguous – it really performs the declared functions well.

It is designed for Firefox.

Random User-Agent

A simple and clear plugin that hides the real User-Agent of the user. Accordingly, spyware scripts on various sites can not get information about the browser and operating system of the visitor.

It is worth noting that some sites display different results for users with different User-Agents. For example, a visitor from the U.S. hotel reservation site will show one price for a particular room at a particular hotel, but a visitor from Switzerland will show a different price for the same room at the same hotel. In the second case the price will be higher than in the first case, as the site “understands” that the traveler from Switzerland is likely to be able and willing to pay more than the US resident.

The plugin works in Firefox and Crome.

WebRTC Leak Prevent

Another useful plugin that reduces to zero the probability of revealing the original IP of the device running a WebRTC-enabled website. Typically, WebRTC is used to enable audio and video chats right in the browser, without the need for third-party applications.

But this technology can lead to leakage of the original IP. This is a particularly undesirable situation if the user is working with a VPN, hiding the IP address and location.

The plugin is available for Chrome users, for those who use Firefox, there is an analogue.

uBlock Origin

A cross-platform plugin, filters a variety of content, including ads. It is capable of blocking ads as well as AdBlock, but unlike the latter, it does not have any “white lists”. We are talking about lists of advertisers that AdBlock does not filter – simply because they have paid the developers.

uBlock Origin does not use whitelists, and it also has an additional feature that helps avoid sites and services trying to bypass blockers.

You can download the plugin from the developer’s GitHub.

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