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Advertisements and trackers: sites to be really wary of
Advertisements and trackers: sites to be really wary of
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Advertisements and trackers: sites to be really wary of

June 25th, 2020
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9 minutes of reading time
Install Shelblock ad blocker for free on Windows

**Although the demise of third party cookies is announced for 2022, to be replaced by contextual advertising, many platforms continue to use your data to customize their ad targeting and entice you to buy. Merchant sites, social networks, media, ... How to prevent ad targeting? What are advertisers' preferred platforms? How does Shelblock protect you from online tracking?

What is ad tracking?

Have you ever seen a promotion related to a product that you were interested in just a few hours before appearing on a web page? This is what we call advertising tracking or tracking.

Always very popular on the web, tracking, or advertising targeting, refers to all the means that allow you to track your navigation for advertising purposes. Thus, your browsing data is recorded so that sites, social networks and search engines can display advertisements and pop-ups on your screen that may be of interest to you, based on your Internet search history.

What's more, some platforms, such as Google, even generate a hidden pixel identifier to track you on the different pages you visit. What about other search engines and websites?

Tracking on search engines

Whether you're checking your email on Gmail, listening to music on Youtube, or searching for a location on Maps, Google Chrome analyzes everything you do to display advertisements based on your interests. Its DoubleClick script is one of the most powerful for linking your data to the advertising banners.

Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo also collect and store your personal data - cookies, IP addresses, and query history - in order to provide you with targeted advertising for the purpose of getting you to buy.

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Fortunately, more secure alternatives exist for your web searches. Alternative search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Startpage or the French search engine Qwant send web requests anonymously to protect your privacy and personal data.

Tip: If you still want to use Google, Bing or Yahoo, the Shelblock software allows you to efficiently block cookies and search engine spyware.

Tracking on merchant sites

When you browse through several ecommerce sites to find a pair of sneakers you've spotted, you've probably noticed that ads then offer you the same or similar pairs of sneakers to remind you that you haven't ordered them yet.

This is possible thanks to unique and anonymous files that identify you and record your behavior. By accepting the use of cookies, you allow each merchant site to retrieve and share information about the categories and products you view on the Internet.

The Amazon**marketplace is one of the world's largest advertising platforms with highly accurate measurement and targeting tools. In addition to analyzing your purchase path, the site helps advertisers get to know you by telling them about the products you've recently purchased!

If you browse other marketplaces such as Cdiscount, eBay or Rueducommerce, you will notice that advertising spaces and sponsored products are omnipresent.

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To protect you from retargeting and exploitation of your cookies, Shelblock blocks trackers and ads from all merchant sites.

Tracking on social networks

If there is another platform to be wary of, it's Facebook. Even without being registered on the social network, the web giant tracks your personal data to individualize its ads or sell your information to advertisers. That's why you often see targeted advertising on the social network.

When you browse the web with a connected account, Facebook can even analyze your behavior via like buttons inserted on other sites.

The good news is that the social network offers its users to "depersonalize" the ad tracking in its settings (in the tab Ads > Ad Settings), even if it doesn't allow to remove the ad completely.

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You should know that other trackers are deposited by social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, which also offer very powerful tools for advertising targeting.

To limit tracking on social networks, we recommend that you modify your account privacy settings and disable cookies on these platforms.

You can also install the Shelblock software on your computer to block social network trackers and prevent ad targeting.

Tracking on news and information sites

The online information sites are finally the sites that carry the most advertising cookies. As they live mainly on advertising, online newspapers, such as Le Monde and 20 minutes, collect massively your navigation data to improve the **advertisers' advertising targeting.

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Although the disappearance of third party cookies is coming to the forefront, few media outlets are considering changing their advertising strategy at this time. This is why you should be very careful about your browser settings on these websites.

Whatever online media you are viewing, we recommend that you use our ad blocker to prevent tracking on news sites!

How to protect yourself from ad tracking?

To prevent ad tracking, you can :

  • Choose a privacy-friendly Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox limits, for example, the recovery of personal data)
  • Prefer a secure search engine that does not record your web searches (such as Qwant or DuckDuckGo)
  • Enable browser tracking protection (possible in the advanced settings of Chrome, Firefox and Edge)
  • Use the Shelblock to secure your entire system software by blocking ads and trackers on browsers and applications.
Install Shelblock ad blocker for free on Windows
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