Ad companies have literally invaded Internet and are now appealed by tons of firms. It wouldn’t be so bad, despite seeing ads all over pages while browsing, if they didn’t track you. In order to ‘enhance your surfing experience’, ‘optimize ads to suit your needs’ – a few arguments all of the ad companies use -, they use lots of cookies to track your actions; pages you visit, your purchases (if you buy on Internet), sites the most often seen, etc. This data is collected and then they can provide you ‘personalized ads’. Take a look at this chart: this really works!
But, wait – all of this is nice, yet your privacy is seriously ruined. You should be able to control your information.
Now, let’s see how to do so: you’ll want to ‘opt-out’ of these ad companies, i.e. they will stop providing personalized ads. Ideally, you can opt-out of all of them, but there are so many that you can just opt-out of -most- of them.
There are two ways I like to do so: install the PrivacyChoice Trackerblock plugin, or go to Selectout.org. If you use Selectout, you’ll initially get cookies from lots of ad companies telling them you have opted-out, but you must do it again when you delete them.
The second choice is Trackerblock. It doesn’t actually opt you out, but it blocks data collection, meaning the ad company can’t get your data. Get it for Firefox or Chrome; you’ll have to choose what you want to opt-out of. I recommend selecting all.
PrivacyChoice compares some privacy tools on this list. I’ve used all of them, but Trackerblock appears as the most efficient one for me.