Rich Frangiamore

About Rich Frangiamore

Systems admin, geek, Trekkie, nature lover. Finding easier ways to do stuff since 1980.

Tracking the Trackers

It’s old news that most websites track your surfing habits.  Advertising providers, online marketers, and other behavioral tracking elements are spread quite wide across many of the sites that we visit every day.  These elements could hide inside of a hidden frame, or even a single pixel.  Fortunately, these days, there are many new tools available to look behind the curtain and see exactly who is tracking you.

One of my favorite new browser plugins is Ghostery, a handy tool for screenshotrevealing all of the tracking elements on any web page.  It installs in seconds and is cross-platform, cross-browser.  Once installed, the friendly blue ghost icon will alert you, with a small bubble, the number of tracking elements on the current page.  From there, you may elect to block any of these scripts from tracking you on any other site.

Read more about it at, download the extension for your favorite browser, and then go exploring!  You’ll be amazed at how many tracking elements Ghostery will alert you to on sites you visit every day.

What tools do you use to avoid being tracked, or do you think that tracking is a necessary part of website data collection?