If ad blocking is the hacksaw of Internet-protecting add-ons, DoNotTrackMe is a finely honed katana, slicing out tracking behaviors embedded in sites without destroying the modern Web.
The latest version makes some helpful changes both on the surface and how it protects you. Formerly known as Do Not Track Plus, the add-on's redesign makes it significantly easier to use. DNTMe's new crosshairs icon sits next to your location bar, and is easier to find than the previous one. It still shows you the number of trackers that it's blocked on the site that you're visiting, but the layout redeco looks much less like a Windows XP reject.
Click on the crosshairs and a drop-down window opens that shows you a sun icon if there's no trackers on the site, or in-depth tracking info if there's more going on than meets the eye. If trackers are detected, you see first a list of the companies tracking you, and then a breakdown of which companies to which they report. These include separate call-outs for social networks, as well as other private companies. The slider at the top is also what you click to allow all tracking from a specific site.
Below the tracker data is a real-time chart showing you how many trackers you've been protected from, although the chart's data is a bit thin. At the very bottom you have links to a combination of Abine privacy products, such as its DeleteMe service, and free blog posts that help explain more information about tracking and privacy concerns.
DNTMe's benefit isn't just that it blocks trackers, but that it keeps the social Web active while protecting you. Publisher Abine does this by actually rebuilding the social-networking buttons on most sites, which prevents sites from gleaning tracking data from you when you're not logged in. By rebuilding social-networking buttons on the fly without sacrificing privacy or site load times, it keeps the kind of functionality people want from the Web.
It's a unique response to the problem of tracking, and reflects how seriously Abine takes its task. DNTMe also blocks ad networks and companies from following you around the Web.
The settings icon, a small gear at the top, lets you toggle tracking cookie blocking on a per-site basis. And throughout the interface, links take you to Abine's sites that explain what the add-on is doing and why it's doing it. We're talking smart, helpful stuff.
The average internet user has their browsing history tracked 160 times per day. What does that mean?
- Almost every website you visit tracks and records your activity and sells your data to other companies.
- Every time you give a website your real email address, it makes you easier to track.
- LivingSocial, Adobe, Zappos, Facebook, Citigroup, and many more websites were hacked in 2013, representing over 200 million customers' data lost (emails, passwords, credit cards, and more).
*DoNotTrackMe: How It Works*
- By adding DoNotTrackMe, you will effortlessly block more than 600 tracking companies from seeing which sites you visit, articles you read, videos you watch, purchases you make, and more.
- No registration required! If you want to stop your email from being tracked, just provide your email address the next time you visit an email form (see screenshot). After that, you'll never have to give out your email ever again.
- Advanced Premium features ($5/mo.) allow you to protect more private information by creating one-time use, private credit cards when you shop online and providing you a private phone number.
Note: If you don't want to stop email tracking and spam from email form fields, you can turn this off by going to the DoNotTrackMe icon in your browser, clicking Settings, and unchecking "Don't track my email".
What's new in this version: