Digital privacy has become a necessary feat in the current world. It’s not just the business people looking forward to getting information on your browsing history; sometimes, the government snoops around to retrieve essential information.
Most businesses track your behavior online and show you targeted ads to increase their sales. You call it targeted advertising. Sometimes it isn’t nice, not because it alters your buying habit but because your information (such as your online behavior) gets collected without your consent.
Let us now look briefly at targeted ads, the whole mechanism, how they can affect you, and ways to protect yourself from targeted advertising. Let’s start!
What Are Target Ads?
Have you ever searched for a product or flight details on some websites and found relevant ads on the apps and on every other website you visit on your device? Similar behavior also holds for your social media suggestions.
Target advertising is nothing but a modern advertising technique where businesses use trackers (scripts) to collect data points on your behavior.
The quickest way to block them is to browse in private or incognito mode of your browser. However, that’s not yet possible for the masses due to a lack of awareness about privacy.
How Do Advertisers Track You?
The target advertisers use multiple techniques to extract your data, such as trackers, browsing history, and cookies.
For example, when you search for a mobile phone on an Amazon app, the trackers collect this data point and sometimes share it with advertisers who are working with Amazon. Then, you see ads for mobile phones on other apps and websites you visit.
But sometimes, these target advertisements can invade your privacy, causing trouble.
To stop advertisements, all you need to do is follow some simple steps to make your internet usage safe. Even though target advertisements can be beneficial, they can extract your personal information through digital fingerprints, location, and device tracking.
Target Ads and Their Effects
Have you ever thought: how does targeted marketing invade your privacy?
Target advertising, otherwise popularly known as tracking, is done using your cookies. Advertisers collect your data from all your internet-connected devices. In target advertising, there are multiple disadvantages.
Certain advertisements might feel personal, allowing you to feel uneasy. You might feel bad when some of your personal information becomes public as a user.
Similarly, the appearance of advertisements might make you feel irritated when it occurs on each site you visit.
The constant advertisements might affect the view of the user on the business. They might believe that your business or brand is spying on them.
So, to sum it up, people don’t want others to snoop around their data.
5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Target Ads
1. Use VPN
Virtual private networks (VPN) can help you protect your privacy and disable annoying ads since VPN reroutes your traffic and makes you appear as if you’re browsing from another location.
You can download and set up VPN to stop advertisements. Moreover, you can also add VPN to Chrome as a VPN Google extension. Further, with advanced VPN features, such as the NetGuard feature in the VeePN app, you can block ads, trackers, and malicious websites altogether.
2. Choose to Disable Trackers on the Website
Most websites have tracking software that snoops around your internet history and personal data. However, you can disable that in most modern browsers.
All you need to do is click on the privacy badger icon in Safari, Chrome, or any other browser to become private and block tracking scripts. Moreover, you can use mobile apps such as Brave browser for a privacy-focused experience.
3. Turn Off Targeted/personalized Ads on Social Media
You might also receive personalized ads on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. You can switch off the targeted advertisement options in your social media account settings. Google for tutorials or reach out to support for exact steps to do it.
4. Install Ad Blockers
Next, you can install ad blockers such as AdBlock or uBlock to stop tracking advertising.
An ad blocker is software responsible for blocking online advertising. You can install any ad blocker available in the market as a plugin/extension in your browser. Most ad-blockers offer a free plugin as well.
5. Turn Off Unnecessary Cookies
In case you are wondering what cookies are, it is nothing but browser data that stores the information of the website you have visited and till now.
So, you can protect your device by deleting the cookies from time to time or by switching off the feature of cookie storage. Further, most modern browsers allow you to enable the option only to allow necessary cookies, blocking most trackers.
So, this is all about ad tracking and targeted advertising. You can now understand how it can invade your privacy and influence your real-life decisions.
If you’re uncomfortable with them, use any of the ways mentioned to protect yourself from targeted advertising. Further, ensure you use a good VPN that encrypts your transmission data and protects you from targeted advertising.
Remember, it’s your privacy. So you’re the one who gets to choose!