Topic Safe Browsing

Prevent cross-site tracking on Mac In Safari and Chrome

Around 86 percent of the world’s top websites use cross-site trackers to study your browsing habits. A further 74 percent of websites rely on Google tracking software. It means no matter where you go online, chances are your actions will be recorded and analyzed to serve you targeted ads.

 

Pro tip: The easiest and most reliable way to prevent cross-site tracking  is by using Clario. The app features instant ad-blocking and anti-tracking functionality that can help you get rid of intrusive ads and protect your privacy. Here’s how it works:

  1. Install Clario’s free trial and go to the Browsing section
  2. In the Web activity tab, click Next
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Clario browser extension

 

Read on to know how advertisers study your behaviour and learn how to disable search tracking on Chrome and Safari.  

What are trackers on websites?

Website trackers are scripts that collect information on website visitors’ online activities. Whereas website trackers operate within a single website, cross-site trackers are used to record people’s browsing behavior across multiple websites.  

 

Here’s a short overview of the “advertiser’s tracking toolbox”.

  • Web beacons are tiny, often only 1-pixel-large images embedded in a page or email. When a page with the web beacon is loaded, the server is notified — this way advertisers can learn who opened the page and when. Web beacons are often used together with cookies to gather information about users.
  • Server logs are “registers” keeping a note of who has loaded a webpage, when, the user journey to the page, and the visitor’s IP address.
  • Browser user agents are mini-applications showing information about the web browser and the user’s operating system. Advertisers collect this information to make up a picture of the visitor and their online habits.
  • Cookies are the most famous tracking technology. A cookie is a string of code saved to your device. When you visit a page, the website can see the cookie and recognize if you’ve previously visited or not. This way, websites can remember you, then recognize you and show you relevant ads.
  • Flash cookies identify your unique browser settings and are a more sophisticated version of regular cookies. Even if you clear regular cookies, flash cookies will be able to restore the deleted information.
  • Browser fingerprinting is a way to identify users by custom browser settings or other features such as screen settings, name and version of a web browser, installed plugins, and extensions. The combination of these features creates a unique portrait of the user to help websites identify them.

How to prevent cross-site tracking in Safari

Safari features native settings to prevent cross-site tracking (it is called ‘Do not track’ in versions prior 12, and ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ in the newer versions of the browser). Here’s how to enable the ‘Safari do not track’ option.
 

1. In the Safari menu, click Preferences.

Safari Preferences

2. In the Privacy tab, check the Prevent cross-site tracking checkbox.  

Disabling cross-site tracking in Safari

3. Click Manage Website Data to block trackers enabled earlier.  

4. Select individual websites and click Remove or click Remove All to get rid of all trackers at once.

Removing website trackers in Safari

5. In the Security tab, uncheck the Enable JavaScript checkbox.  

Disabling JavaScript in Safari

If you wonder what JavaScript and security have in common, here’s the answer. JavaScript is a programming language commonly used by websites, so it’s quite a useful thing to know about.

 

Browser fingerprinting - one of the most complex and powerful tracking mechanisms - is possible thanks to JavaScript. That’s probably why Apple added the option to disable JavaScript in the first place.

 

If you do this, your browsing will be more private and secure, but the number of websites you can open will decrease dramatically. Overall, disabling JavaScript is an extreme measure, but is something you should know.How to disable search tracking in Chrome.

 

Chrome allows the automatic blocking of trackers. When the feature is enabled, the browser sends a ‘do not track’ request to the websites you visit. Note, however, that some websites might disregard the request and keep collecting your data.  

 

Here’s how to turn off search tracking in Chrome:  
 

1. In the Chrome menu, select Preferences.

Chrome Preferences

2. In the Privacy and Security section, click Cookies and other site data.

Privacy and security settings in Chrome

3. Toggle the option Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic.  

Do not track request in Chrome

4. Click Confirm.

Do not track confirmation window

How to enable automatic blocking of trackers on Mac

Here’s how to get rid of trackers on Mac:
 

1. Download Clario and create an account to start a free trial.

Create a Clario account

2. Go to the Browsing section and click Next in the Ads and pop-ups tab.

Ads and pop-ups settings in Clario

3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install an ad-blocker for Safari or Chrome.  

Adding Clario browser extension

4. Turn anti-tracking on or off for certain websites.  

Clario anti-tracking

The Clario extension removes not only trackers but also ads. What’s more, the Clario app comes with unlimited secure VPN, 24/7 data breach monitoring, reliable antivirus, and many other security and privacy enhancing features. Download Clario now to try its powerful functionality for free!

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