Who's watching you? | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Who's watching you?

Don't get spooked by Web bugs; use Ghostery to view online trackers.

As much as we may like to pretend otherwise, there are lots of people--or more accurately, companies--tracking our every move on the Internet. Most of the time the information that's being collected is for marketing purposes, not malicious ones, but even that can be a bit creepy. Ghostery is an unobtrusive add-on for Firefox that shows users exactly which trackers are present on a given Web page, making it much easier to control who's gathering information about you.

The program's interface is quite user-friendly, with the add-on appearing as a small Pac-Man-style ghost in Firefox's status tray. When Ghostery detects information-gathering scripts on a Web page, a link appears that shows the number of trackers found. Clicking on this link provides the name of each tracker and links to Web pages with more information about the companies in question, including descriptions and popularity rankings. Ghostery can also optionally show an alert bubble in the upper right corner of a Web page that lists the trackers that have been found. The program's interface makes it easy to block each individual tracker if desired, ensuring that information about your Internet usage isn't going to anyone you don't trust. Overall, we found Ghostery to be both unobtrusive and quite informative, and we recommend it to those who are concerned about keeping their Web surfing private.

Ghostery is free. As with most add-ons, it doesn't have a Help file, but it's very easy to figure out. Ghostery installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.

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