Stop Web Trackers and Protect Your Privacy with This New Free Browser Add-On

Going on the Internet these days means having a horde of advertisers chasing after you to find out what you do on the web. Those who wish to protect their privacy have various options and many are discussed at TSA. Here is a new one to consider. It is called “Do Not Track Plus” and is a browser add-on. It was just announced in this PR release from the online privacy company Abine Inc and I have been trying it out.

The download page is here and it will detect which browser you are using. First, an installer is downloaded; click it and the browser add-on is installed. I tried it with IE9, Firefox 10, and Chrome 17  and installation went smoothly. Safari is also supported.

After installation, cookies from a list of ad agencies and others will be automatically blocked. The list is maintained  by Abine. A button is placed in the upper right of the browser and the number of cookies being blocked is shown in the button.  The button is normally green but if it is red or orange that means you are being tracked in ways that have not been blocked. To see more information about what is being blocked, click the button and a box like the one shown in Figure 1 will be displayed.

Figure 1. Do Not Track Plus browser add-on

If a particular site does not seem to work properly because cookies are blocked, the extension can be disabled by clicking the “On” button outlined in the upper left of Figure 1. The button turns to Off and the box shown in Figure 2 appears. There is also a “Settings” link (shown outlined in white) that will open the window displayed in Figure 3. As Figure 3 shows, a list of the blocked cookie sources is given in this new window. This window also has a link “View Do Not Track Settings” (shown outlined in white) for additional configuration in the Firefox browser but not in IE or Chrome.

Figure 2. Disable Do Not Track Plus

 

Figure 3. List of blocked cookie sources

There is a FAQ at this link for more information. According to the FAQ, this add-on can be used along with AdBlock Plus but not with the similar Ghostery.

One thing that was not clear to me at first was whether Flash cookies or other super cookies are blocked as well as the conventional type. So I asked on the company chat line and was told that you need a paid version for that.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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Comments

by Juxxize on 21. November 2013 - 10:04  (112424)

hi guys have you seen the new update for Do Not Track I'm not impressed it's got new blocking options like blocking you phone number and credit card from being tracked on Facebook but when you click on the button to block it takes you to an upgrade page . I hate it when ad-ons do this if you can't get the feature without paying why put the button there for you to click, fair enough show your premium features but I think this is a step too far .

by lmail (not verified) on 29. July 2012 - 7:17  (96818)

How does this compare with Spyware Blaster?

I have been using this for many years and just wondering if it's outdated, or what benefits Do Not Track Plus may offer over Spyware Blaster.

by v.laurie on 30. July 2012 - 18:02  (96902)

I haven't used Spyware Blaster and can't comment on that particular program. However, Do Not Track is not a full-fledged spyware remover. It is a specialized add-on aimed at tracking cookies.

by bobono (not verified) on 26. March 2012 - 10:59  (91177)

hi laurie,
i wanna ask something, please give me your suggestion and generally explained.
if i install this add-on, its mean i dont need adblock plus and scriptno anymore for my chrome ? ( or firefox )
thank you laurie.

by ehorwitz1 on 23. February 2012 - 18:56  (89309)

I've had some problems on Win XP with IE 8. The browser slows down and eventually won't respond to any clicks on any links or buttons. After searching around, I updated my Java to the latest version and everything is working much better on two machines. I'm still having issues on the 3rd computer and haven't had a chance to get into it.

Just a word to the wise - This puppy is Java-based, so if you're having problems, take a look at Java.com and see if you've got the latest version.

by ehorwitz1 on 2. March 2012 - 19:01  (89818)

Additional comment:

I finally uninstalled DNT+ from both machines (both are Windows XP SP3 using IE8). For that combination, I found that DNT+ slowed down the browser and in some cases disabled buttons on the web pages (rare, but it happened!). Each web page displayed, then re-displayed and no action could be taken until the redisplay finished. This got to be annoying, particularly when I was in a hurry. As much as I like the software and what it does, I just got frustrated and fed up. I'm hoping your mileage varies from mine!

Good luck...

by Gravwell (not verified) on 21. February 2012 - 15:26  (89191)

Installed DNT+ w/o difficulty. Seems to work well. One issue: I'm using IE8 and since installing DNT+ there are multiple copies of IE open at the same time. I understand that this is not unusual however there are more copies open now (3 or 4) and several do not ever close. This means that IE Privacy Keeper, which is set to delete cookies and temp files when the last browser window closes, never runs. I uninstalled DNT+ and now all browser windows close normally. Too bad. I liked not being tracked. Any suggestions (other than switching browsers)?

by v.laurie on 21. February 2012 - 15:45  (89193)

I don't use IE8 anymore and I have no suggestions. Try asking at the DNT+ site. They have a chat line.

by jolujolu on 18. February 2012 - 20:39  (89027)

since i installed Do Not Track Plus my Superantispyware is showing 50,60 70 malware and cookies everytime it comes on, as before always had some but no more than 2 or 3,could the author explain this why it is so. don't believe me try it for yourself

by ehorwitz1 on 23. February 2012 - 18:53  (89308)

DNT+ handles a lot of trackers by creating opt out cookies. If you're deleting them when you clean up (CCleaner, etc.) then they will probably get recreated next time you start your browser. Details are in one of the two FAQs on the website.

by Serge (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 21:24  (88870)

The download link is bad and redirects to the postinstall page, not the download page.

by v.laurie on 14. February 2012 - 21:43  (88871)

Thank you. Correction has been made.

by MrWednesday7 on 14. February 2012 - 20:33  (88867)

Fine in both Chrome and Firefox, for me.

by Don Robinson (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 17:32  (88861)

Wow. Finally got rid of Netflix on Snopes.

by AJNorth on 17. February 2012 - 19:24  (88986)

Greetings,

Adblock Plus should also eliminate the banner ads at the Snopes site, and it is fully compatible with Ghostery.

Regards,

AJN

by leelo7 on 14. February 2012 - 17:22  (88860)

Here is a website where you can learn how to update your HOSTS file and block companies trying to track you on the web.
http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm
Be sure you read the special instructions for Vista or Windows 7!

by rango343 on 14. February 2012 - 16:15  (88855)

For Opera users there is an excellent extension with similar functionality. It's Ghostery, and can be found here:
https://addons.opera.com/en/addons/extensions/details/ghostery/0.9.5/?di...

It works nicely. If you inatall some ad blocking extension, the combo speeds up Opera a bit.

I wanted to say that I am a newcomer in this place. There are so many good stuff to read, I am really taking my time digging around. Many thanks to authors for the articles and users for commnets

by LucyWestenra on 15. February 2012 - 18:41  (88911)

Little orange flag about Ghostery (not quite a red flag): they're owned by an advertising company, and they don't block tracking by default. There's a interesting ITWorld article on this here: http://www.itworld.com/node/249964

DNT+ blocks tracking by default, but the downside is it isn't available for Opera yet.

by Ratzo on 16. February 2012 - 22:00  (88939)

yes that is an interesting article

by Kandiman (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 23:04  (88873)

Ghostery is available as an add-on for Firefox as well and works wonderfully. I've been using it for about 6 months and it is updated regularly with nary a glitch.

by Fudgie McGee (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 16:11  (88854)

Sorry if this is a stupidy question but do this and noscript do different things? Or is this redundant? I use noscript and have a similar extension for chrome. I now feel that using a browser without a script blocker is like walking into a battle naked (minus the laughter). So I cringe if someone doesnt have one installed. So, I am guessing scripts and cookies are two different things? I thought I was blocking tracking by using noscript. Any edification and guidance is much appreciated!

by v.laurie on 14. February 2012 - 16:18  (88856)

You guessed right- scripts and cookies are different things.

by Fudgie McGee (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 16:30  (88857)

thank you. I assume its more important to block scripts as they can actually harm, damage your computer whereas cookies are only a privacy issue? Not to suggest privacy isnt a concern but rather that its less of a concern than malware. does this sound accurate?

by v.laurie on 14. February 2012 - 17:19  (88859)

You are basically correct. How someone feels about tracking cookies is a matter of personal beliefs about privacy. Some people do not mind them or even think that they help get more relevant and interesting ads to look at. Others feel they are a major invasion of privacy.

Although malware is often distributed via scripts, it is also true that there are useful scripts. JavaScript is used all over the web these days. In fact, if you use NoScript (as I do), you will find many legitimate sites that are broken unless you allow scripts. Security almost always involves a trade-off with convenience.

by Luvntravln on 14. February 2012 - 15:50  (88853)

Loaded and working.

How very interesting: delivered from Gizmo to me by Google and it blocked Google from tracking me~!!

Justice!!!!!

by Anonymous9634 (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 15:41  (88852)

It actually blocks two companies from tracking me while on this techsupportalert webpage :-)

by Anonymous3569 (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 16:46  (88858)

Hi Vic,

Actually, this is quite interesting.

Aren't you recommending a product which blocks companies that have paid Gizmo to track our surfing habits?

Great for someone like me who hates people doing anything without my total knowledge and consent but counterproductive to the advertising revenue you get from these companies?

Or am I confused about what has been blocked etc. I think one was Google analytics? and another Quantcast.

Just interested not angry or anything :-)

Cheers,

Paul

by v.laurie on 14. February 2012 - 20:54  (88869)

You are right that blocking cookies affects the ad revenue for many sites. It is a conundrum for a site like this. The solution, of course, is to allow cookies for sites that you want to support. As you note, some cookies are not for tracking you individually but for counting traffic for a site. For example, Google Analytics keeps track of traffic and is important in determining ad revenue. It costs money to run a site. That money has to come from somewhere. If you get benefit from a site it is up to your conscience whether you use ad and cookie blockers on that site.

by Fred Martin (not verified) on 14. February 2012 - 15:34  (88850)

So what for Opera users ?................

by Kubo (not verified) on 22. February 2012 - 0:00  (89210)

To Opera users can install the extension 'Opera AdBlock', that works very well. Also can install the extension 'Ghostery'. 'AdFender' is also a alternative.
I use 'Opera AdBlock' only, that is enought to me.

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