Download Android App

Alternate Blog View: Timeslide Sidebar Magazine

Monday, January 30, 2012

Managing your virtual social world trail

By staying signed in on Google and performing search and accessing websites, a user leaves a digital trail behind. This trail is used by many companies to create a user profile. Richer user behavior profiles are very useful to advertisers as they can put personalized ads on websites you view.

There are some simple ways to stop this. The methods explained below will only work for advertisers who are part of Network Advertising Initiative and follows the industry privacy standards for online advertising.

Note: Before following the steps described below, ensure that you are signed in.


1. Visit ads on the web. If you do not like Google 'Make the ads you see on the web more interesting', click on 'Opt Out'.

2. Visit ads preference. This is the profile Google created for you based on your search and browse history. Google even guessed your age and gender. You can delete all the information from here and 'Opt Out'.

You can also download the Advertising cookie opt-out plugin to permanently block personalized ads.

Other advertisers

1. Visit NAI. Using their online tool, you can examine your computer to identify those member companies that have placed an advertising cookie file on your computer. Don't be surprised to see 50 or more cookies from different advertisers. Now, did you know that? You can 'Select All' and 'Submit' the form to clear all the cookies.

2. Visit Aboutads. Again, you can 'opt-out' of ad network.


1. Visit Account Settings. Click on 'Apps' tab. Delete all infrequently used apps.  For the remaining apps, set the appropriate privacy level by clicking on 'Edit'. e.g., if you use 'Washington social post reader', by default, all posts and activity from this app are visible on Facebook. Do disable this, select 'Only Me' in privacy settings.


Orkut was once very popular in India. If you do not use it anymore and switched camps, then you are not alone. But your profile, scraps, photos etc are still public. To delete your orkut account, visit this link.

If you would like to share more privacy tips, please leave a comment.

Also read: The Internet, social media and privacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment