Even though it was obvious for most of us, a lot of people lost their minds when Social Dilemma came out on Netflix explaining how their behavior and thoughts are being controlled by social media "platforms". Soon after that people (at least few) started to re-think how their internet usage and time they spend on social media are being used for fueling targeted advertisements. Not everyone will have time or patience to read through the Privacy Policies of websites that are supposed to be read.
In the last couple of years, few of the organizations/countries have started questioning internet giants and inviting them to court to talk about how much they are valuing user data privacy. As a result, these websites had to give their users choice of opting out of Targeted/Contextual/User-Interest based advertisements. Since these opt-out preferences are usually hidden in some corner of privacy settings, I decided to list down the links to ad personalization settings of the most used websites.
To prevent Google from persisting your internet usage, you can customize how Google tracks your Web & App Activity, Location & YouTube History by visiting,
Depending on each website, you would have one or multiple settings that you can customize to control how much of your data can be used to show you targeted ads. Adjusting these settings will make you see less targeted ads while you browse. But this alone will not prevent the websites from tracking your usage on the internet.
If you are willing to take one step further, you can
- Use Incognito for most of the internet browsing or at least when you are researching a product you want to buy
- Disable Third-Party Cookies Globally
- Start using DuckDuckGo instead of Google Search
- Stop using Google Chrome
- Use Ad and Tracking Blockers on Browsers/Mobile Phones.
Bonus: WebChoices Tool
The companies participating in the WebChoices tool provide transparency and choice under the DAA Principles. You can run this tool on your browser and send opt-out requests for multiple ad partners/websites.