Tip Of The Week : How to block digital tracking. Personalized ads aren't just on apps, they can follow you around websites, too.

Here is Brian X Chen, the consumer technology columnist for The Times, on ways to keep digital companies for collecting our personal information.

Targeted ads are creepy. If you were window shopping in real life and looked at a pair of expensive shoes, would you want a flyer for the shoes to be permanently stuck to your car?

That's basically how personalized online ads behave. I call them stalker ads.

You need multiple techniques to block ads on the web and inside mobile apps. Here are a few steps :

.- Install an ad blocker. For your web browser, you can install add-ons that block ads. My favorite one for computer browsers is uBlock Origin, and on iPhones I recommend IBlocker.

For Android users, Google banned many ad blockers from its official Play app store.

The simplest way to block ads is by using a private web browser, as I detail next.

.- On mobile devices, use a private browser. Firefox Focus, DuckDuckGo and Brave are privacy-centric mobile browsers that include built-in ad and tracker blocking. These are handy when you want to do a discreet web-search. I wrote more about these web browsers here.

.- Install a tracker blocker. These detect computer code on websites that snoop on people and prevent the trackers from loading.

My favorite tracker blocker for desktop systems is Disconnect.me, and for mobile devices I like Barracuda CloudGen Access [free on both iOS and Android].


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