Some websites have hidden elements in them that help them track your web browsing habits. This is considered a privacy issue as it reveals what type of sites you browse to these tracking companies. The Ghostery browser extension boasts to help block these tracking elements. Ghostery is a browser add-on for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome. It can show you the tracking elements like cookies on a website and allows you to block them if you want.
Ghostery sees the invisible web – tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons. Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. After showing you who is tracking you, Ghostery also gives you a chance to learn more about each company it identifies. Using Ghostery you can see the how these tracking companies describe themselves, a link to their privacy policies, and a sampling of pages discovered by the Ghostery research team.
You can download the Ghostery extension from its website. The download is available for all the popular web browsers. We tested this add-on by installing it in the Google Chrome web browser. After the installation, it shows a little ghostery icon in the toolbar on the right side. You can click on this add-on icon and then click on the gear like icon to open the Ghostery Settings as shown.
In the Ghostery settings, you can choose to enable GhostRank but be careful as it sends anonymous information about the tracking elements on the sites you visit in your web browser. GhostRank is supposed to help Ghostery team about new and evolving technologies in the web tracking industry. You can also choose general options like showing bubble when tracking elements are found, showing script sources in the bubble, enabling blocking of the tracking elements etc.
When you visit a website, Ghostery automatically finds all the tracking elements like cookies, iframes, images and more. Ghostery calls these tracking elements as web bugs or 3pes. A purple colored bubble popup is shown on the top-right corner with the number of elements found. If you have enabled to block tracking elements in the Ghostery settings, then they would be automatically blocked as well. If you click on the Ghostery icon now, it would show a full list along with the script source of all the tracking elements found on that web page.
Ghostery is for people who are paranoid for their web browsing privacy. It does an overkill job of tagging and blocking the elements which have become necessary on modern websites like plug-ins from Facebook and Twitter. This sometimes gives you trouble when you try to log on to some website using Facebook. Ghostery is available for all the popular web browsers and you can download it from its website at http://www.ghostery.com/.