What is tracker?

Web-trackers (hereafter called “trackers”) can be implemented on websites and as soon as you go to the site, trackers will start collecting information about you. The tracker developer is a third party, but the site owner determines how many trackers should be on its domain and what type. Some sites can “boast” six dozen trackers, while others will have only one tracker or none. You’ve probably heard of at least one well-known type of tracker: cookies. But there are also web beacons, flash cookies, and others. They are not always used to track your actions when visiting websites. Some trackers are used only by the site owner to estimate how many readers visit it and where they’re from. Sometimes they are technically necessary for the normal operation of the website. When you allow the use of cookies to load the site correctly, you give the green light to all trackers on the site, including those that send data to their “owners”. Today we will talk about how to block trackers to stop online surveillance on Windows 10 computers.

How do you feel about online tracking?

What do trackers need and why?

Trackers gather user data related to their browsing activity and habits. For example, it can trace your most viewed websites, frequent search queries, browser history, IP addresses, geolocation, installed extensions, device model, etc. All received information is processed and then sold to third-parties. Most companies will not miss the chance to identify users on the Web by their browser fingerprint. You will be surprised at how unique your browser fingerprint is. Based on numerous tests, it was found that each browser fingerprint matches occur once in 3 million. Therefore a company with numerous trackers around the world will not have any difficulty identifying a person by their unique browser fingerprint.

How to disable trackers?

The easiest and most modern way to stop Internet spying – is to use special software. We recommend that you install Adguard. It can block trackers, ads, and pop-ups in any browser and speed-up page load times. It also has a huge database of phishing sites and prevents browsers from opening such resources. Download AdGuard here:

adguard gui

for windows 10

Download AdGuard for Windows

AdGuard is an ultimate tool that completely prevents ads from being shown. To do this, special filters are used to block ads until the site loads, which helps to save traffic and speeds up page loading. The settings of this app are flexible and allow you to remove ads on certain sites according to your needs.

Block trackers on Windows 10

Let’s start with the fact that in the settings of Windows 10 there is a special menu, which is called “Privacy“. By default, all options are enabled there, but many of them are not necessary, so we will need to disable them. In the “General” tab (Settings → Privacy → General), you can safely disable the first item: Let apps use advertising ID…. But there is nothing stopping you from setting the other sliders to the “Off” state.

block trackers on Windows 10

In the “Location” tab, it is enough to deactivate only one item — “Location”. Or you can take a more loyal approach to this issue and set up a list of apps that will be allowed to use your location data. Other parameters can be disabled at will.

stop tracking

Well, to finally finish working with our “Privacy” menu, we will touch on the “Diagnostics & feedback” item. Find there the Feedback frequency parameter, and switch it to “Never” state.

disable trackers

Block trackers in browsers

After changing the Windows settings, we can go directly to the browser settings

How to remove trackers in Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Push Alt + F or ⌘ + on Mac.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. stop trackers

  5. Under Privacy and security section, click Cookies and other site data
  6. do not track

  7. Enable Send a “Do not track” request with your browsing traffic option
  8. disable tracking

  9. In the opened windows, click Confirm
  10. block tracker in Google Chrome

How to block tracker in Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click on the 3-stripes icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Choose Option.
  4. block trackers in Mozilla Firefox

  5. Select Privacy & Security from the left panel.
  6. do not track Mozilla Firefox

  7. Find Send websites a “Do Not Track” signal that you don’t want to be tracked option and choose Always.
  8. opt-out of tracking by websites

How to stop tracking in Microsoft Edge:

  1. Click on 3-dots icon in the upper right corner.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Settings.
  3. block trackers in Microsoft Edge

  4. Choose Privacy and security tab.
  5. stop trackers in Microsoft Edge

  6. Under Privacy section, turn Send Do Not Track requests option on.
  7. disable trackers in Microsoft Edge

  8. Start Edge again.

How to block trackers in Internet Explorer:

  1. Open IE.
  2. Click on gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, click Safety and then select Turn on Do Not Track requests.
  4. block trackers in Internet Explorer

  5. In the opened window, click Turn on.
  6. do not track Internet Explorer

Disable trackers in Opera:

  1. Open Opera
  2. Go to the browser settings by pressing Alt + P or Ctrl + F12.
  3. Under the Privacy protecion section, activate the switch next to the “Block trackers”.
  4. block trackers in Opera

  5. If necessary, the user can add blocking trackers on a specific site to the exception.

For more information on how to block trackers in opera, click here

Other methods on how to block trackers?

Privacy is currently a priority among browser developers, but they, unfortunately, can’t go as far as users want in the fight against the advertising industry’s spreading trackers on the Internet. However, you can set your own privacy settings to outsmart online tracking. In all the browsers listed in this article, you can set more reliable privacy settings, for example, by changing the default search engine. Try DuckDuckGo. While its search results may not be as useful or detailed as Google’s, DuckDuckGo is a long-time favorite among privacy advocates for its refusal to track user requests. Other universal privacy-enhancing options include disabling your browser’s location tracking and search engine AutoFill features, disabling password AutoFill, and regularly deleting your browsing history.

How to ensure anonymity when surfing the Web?

But even all of these methods listed above do not guarantee complete anonymity: visited pages know IP addresses, and your own provider records traffic. Thus, only an additional service, such as a VPN provider that creates an encrypted communication channel between itself and the surfer, can provide privacy. Visited sites will only see the IP addresses of the VPN service, and the provider will only see the IP addresses of the VPN provider. The only browser with an integrated VPN service is Opera. You can activate it by clicking on the button in the settings. For unlimited use, such services usually require money, unlike the VPN built into the Opera browser, which is activated through the “Settings”. It works for free through the service of the Canadian VPN provider SurfEasy. After enabling it once, you can set the location from which the service will create a connection to the web page by clicking on the VPN icon in the address bar.

block Internet trackers

But the built-in VPN has its disadvantages: due to the fact that a huge number of people use free VPN, VPN servers are very overloaded, so the speed of such a VPN will be extremely low and the connection will constantly disappear. In addition, it is not able to provide one hundred percent privacy. Yes, you will have to pay for the best VPN services. Now there are many VPN services on the market, which sometimes makes it difficult to figure out which one is better. It is important to make the right choice, given that bad VPN services do everything the same as free ones, in addition to keeping logs of user actions (in other words, there is no question of any protection or security).

block tracker

Our choice is NordVPN. It provides first-class encryption and adheres to a strict tax-free policy. This is an ideal option for watching Netflix (and many other similar services) without any restrictions. That is why we put this service in the first place. It supports torrents and provides excellent connection speed. All this makes NordVPN the best and most versatile service. If you are looking for a comprehensive VPN, you will not find anything better or more profitable. Of course, NordVPN can’t be called the best in everything, but the service is as close to this as possible.

Download NordVPN

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For those who thought this was not enough, we recommend that you read our other article How to protect your privacy on Windows 10

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