Whenever you surf the web, websites you visit are constantly tracking you and logging your online activities. Information posted on social networking sites is linked to your mail order purchases which is all linked to your web searches. Companies, mostly for advertising purposes, store and analyze this information and oftentimes this information is sold to third parties without your knowledge.
With an early 2011 release of Firefox 4, Mozilla took a step towards allowing the user to opt-out of such tracking by adding a new ‘Do Not Track’ option to their web browser. This feature sends a small bit of header information with each HTTP request, asking that the current website to disable tracking for you. This is only a “request” to not track your activities – websites you visit are not required to respect this request, and until more websites are upgraded to respond to this request, many of the sites you visit will still track you.
In late 2011, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome released similar ‘Do Not Track’ features.
These browser based ‘Do Not Track’ options do nothing more than make a simple request to not be tracked. It does not provide any anonymity, and your online activities can still be tracked by websites and by your internet service provider. For full privacy in your online activities, use an anonymous VPN service and enable Firefox ‘Private Browsing.’ Firefox’s ‘private browsing’ feature keeps browsing history and search terms from being stored on your computer, while an anonymous VPN service will create a secure connection between you and the internet ensuring that your internet activity cannot be tracked or recorded by your internet service provider or by the websites you visit. Check out our article on recommended anonymous VPN tools to keep your web browsing anonymous.
To enable “Do Not Track” in Firefox, click Tools->Options->Security and select “Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked.”