It’s well known that online companies like Facebook,
Twitter and Google collect vast amounts of data about us. That’s just the tip of the iceberg,
however. Shopping sites and social
networks keep tabs on all of your online activities while you’re using them
every time you cruise the world wide web.
They’ve gotten rather good at soaking up as much data as they can and
your habits, and then sell it to the highest bidder.
This behavior can make it seem like protecting your
privacy would be impossible. But don’t
fear, help is at hand! There are several
browser extensions that will let you know about web trackers, and stop them
from snooping around your online activities, and will help you take control of
your data. We have 5 of the best add-ons
for defending yourself against those web trackers.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that will not track or
record your search queries, sort of the antithesis of Google. The same company also offers a browser
extension, named Privacy Essentials, that will prevent social networks and
advertisers from spying on your web activities.
This is probably the easiest to use of all the extensions on this
list. You don’t need to spend a lot of
time configuring the settings, because this extension will make the hard
choices for you.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is compatible with Chrome,
Firefox and Safari web browsers.
According to Disconnect, it will help you to say no to
mass collection of your online activity and trackers that destroy your device
performance. Like some of the other
items in this list, it will detect tracking technologies from the websites you
visit and ensures that they won’t be able to keep tabs on what you’re doing.
This extension will give you a lot of control of what you
block and unblock. You could block one
site completely and allow another site to collect information. You can easily find out what’s being blocked
by clicking on the Disconnect button in your browser, it’ll also let you know
how it’s affecting the speed of the site you’re visiting. It will also allow you to whitelist sites and
trackers that you deem safe.
Unfortunately, the interface for this extension leaves
much to be desired, it is still rather effective. It’ll tackle social plug-ins, ad trackers and
web analytics code like a football linebacker.
They offer it for free on PCs, and $25 (one-time fee) for mobile
Disconnect is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera an
Safari web browsers.
Ghostery is similar to Privacy Badger, but you have more
control over what gets blocked, but with the caveat of making it more
complex. If you don’t mind taking a
little time to configure it, Ghostery will be an excellent privacy protection
tool. However, if you don’t really want
something that you’ll have to spend some time tinkering with, then you might
choose one of the other friendlier options, like Privacy Badger.
Ghostery can handle the code that deals with social media
plug-ins, audio & video players, site analytics, user interactions and
more. Don’t like those thousands of
annoying extra ads and popups that appear in or on top of websites? Ghostery
will shut them down. It will also give
you a clean and clear look at what’s block and what isn’t on whatever site you
visit. You can also choose to either
temporarily or permanently block something that seems suspicious, or even pause
the blocking function altogether.
These features make Ghostery one of the most
comprehensive options available. The
best part is, like Privacy Badger, it’s free, and available for most web
Ghostery is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
and Safari web browsers.
The company that makes Privacy Badger, Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a non-profit company that is dedicated to
promoting user privacy. On way they
accomplish that is by developing a browser extension called Privacy
Badger. It’s designed to stop tracking
technologies that work across multiple websites. This will hinder the ability of marketers to
build up a comprehensive profile of your web surfing habits.
Most technologies employed by advertisers can recognize
your surfing habits not only from their sponsored sites, but even from
unaffiliated sites. For example, if you
were to search for something on Amazon, that search term will not only show up
in your Amazon recommendations, but will eventually make its way into Facebook,
Twitter and other social media sites.
Privacy Badger stops that by allowing you to set a limit on how many
pages can track you. For each site you
visit, Privacy Badger will identify whatever tracking tools are being employed
and will sort them out in a traffic light style interface that will let you
know how intrusive each one is. It will
also automatically disable them or will limit them one at a time.
However, keep in mind that stopping some trackers can
also make certain features of some websites stop working. For example, stopping all tracking abilities
of a certain site may stop videos from playing because it relies on a tracker
for that feature to operate. However,
Privacy Badger will allow you to override its normal behavior and allow some
trackers to run and restore the functionality of the site you’re in. Despite its power and advanced features,
Privacy Badger remains easy to use. Even
better is that it’s free, and compatible with many web browsers.
Privacy Badger is compatible with Chrome, Firefox and
Opera web browsers.
Facebook Container Extension
You think Facebook is the only site of losing user
data? Think again. It’s definitely not the only one guilty of
that, but it is one of the biggest of the social networking sites, and it loves
to monitor your every movement. Did you
know that Facebook can even keep tabs on your activities even if you’re not in
the Facebook site? Yes, whenever you hit
that famous Facebook like button, Facebook stashes that information as well.
To help stop this problem, Mozilla (the developer of
Firefox web browser) has created Facebook Container Extension. It’s designed to, just as the name denotes,
contain Facebook’s enthusiastic data collection techniques. How it works is that your personal identity
on Facebook, which keeps that “like button” information gets locked into a
virtual container. It keeps that
contained information separate from the rest of your web activities. This will keep it from seeing your activities
on sites outside of Facebook.
One caveat to be aware of, however, is that this means
that tools that you might use for Facebook that reside outside of its website
such as embedded comments on an article or the ability to use your Facebook
account to log into another site may not work properly or may not work at
all. But don’t you think it’s a small
price to pay for keeping Facebook from spying on your all your web
activities? One more thing to keep in
mind is that, since it’s made by Mozilla, it only works with the Firefox web
browser. But if you favor Firefox, then
that won’t be a problem.
Browser extensions can help increase your web browser's security, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. There are multiple ways to secure your computer to prevent identity theft and malware infections. For advice on fully protecting your computer, contact us at Call Posse Computers.
Call Posse Computers
We frequently are asked whether malware can be manually
removed from a computer for free. Can
you get inside of your PC and get rid of that nasty malware on your own?
Technically, yes, however I would follow that up with "we wouldn't recommend that!"
In this article, we will be looking at five
top reasons why investing in a reputable computer professional is a good idea,
and why trying to get rid of malware yourself is something you should avoid.
1. What Are You Getting
Even if you can identify what the original threat is, there
might be massive amounts of malware that is still on your computer. Trojans,
for example, carry other types of malware threats to your computer along with
them, or they download them from the Internet, without you knowing about it.
Although it is great that you have removed the Trojan, there can still be other
malware threats on your computer.
Manually removing multiple malware threats can take a very
long time, and it can be extremely difficult to follow the numerous malware
threats that set a breadcrumb trail up.
2. The Computer Registry, Not for the Faint of Heart
If you happen to be a computer geek and have spent lots of
time reading code and programming then this most likely doesn't apply to
you. However, for everyone else, that is
why this is at the top of our list.
You would normally uninstall any programs you didn't want
from your computer through using your control panel. However, it isn't that easy with
malware. In order to manually remove
malware, you must enter into the bowels of your computer: The Registry. Although the process isn't that hard, you
could end up frying your computer with just a small mistake. It's like tinkering with the computer's DNA,
it's best left to the professionals.
3. How Valuable is Your Time?
If you have several simultaneous malware infections, you
might have hundreds of registry values, registry keys, and file modifications
that you need to locate and remove if you want to manually remove malware.
Although this is a free method, keep in mind that your time
The investment of having an expert handle the situation can
end up being a more economical option instead of spending a lot of your
valuable time attempting to remove malware manually, and possibly turning your
computer into a heavy paper weight.
4. Down the Road
Congratulations! You have just spent four or more hours
manually removing a Trojan off of your computer. In addition, you found and removed a backdoor
application and adware also. However, what is going to happen tomorrow once the
remnants from the Trojan start kicking in and download yet another malware app
on your PC? Is your patience really
going to stretch that far? Are you going
to be up for yet another marathon to remove another viral threat from your
One of the biggest benefits you get from a reputable
professional is not only removing malware but also can prevent your computer
from getting malware to begin with. So not only will you be able to remove the
malware from your computer, but it will be protected in the future as well.
5. Be Smart, Call the Pros
One of the most valuable assets that you have is your
computer. It was expensive to buy. Trying to manually remove malware off of your
computer is like trying to change your car's brakes. Unless you happen to be an electrician, I'm sure that you would never think of trying to rewire your house's electrical system. You would hire an electrician to handle that for you, right?
Why would your computer be any different? Unless you happen
to be a professional or advanced computer user, you should let professionals remove the malware for you. It isn't worth the potential disaster, hassle, and
headache of attempting to manually remove malware unless you know exactly what
Although trying to save a couple of dollars can be very
tempting by trying to manually remove malware, it usually doesn't benefit the
individual who is attempting to do it.
You will be banging your head against the wall for a couple of hours,
and you could potentially damage your computer, miss other types of malware
threats that are on your computer already, and leave yourself vulnerable to
getting other infections.
We at Call Posse Computers can and have removed all sorts of
malware infections from many computers.
Between our state-of-the-art tools and our extensive experience, we can
expertly remove any traces of malware that might be lurking in your computer. We can also offer you options for malware
prevention, which will give you peace of mind.
If you would like us to remove your malware, please contact us today.
Call Posse Computers, Inc.