How to stop ads stalking you

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Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes online, only to be bombarded with advertisements for those exact shoes, following you all over the internet for weeks?

Do you get frustrated with ads knowing everything about you and want it to stop?

Unsurprisingly, they don’t promote it, but all the tech giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter offer instructions on opting out of receiving ads based on your interests.

Here’s how to go about it.

Google
Go to the Ad Settings page. Once there you can choose whether you want the change to apply on all devices when you are signed in or only on your current device and browser.

Then you just check the box to turn off ad personalisation.

Once you have turned off personalisation, Google will no longer use your info to personalise your ads.

However, ads can still be targeted with information such as your general location or the content of the website you are visiting.

Facebook
Update your ‘Ads Based on Data from Partners’ ad settings in your Facebook ad preferences.

If you don’t want Facebook to collect information based on your activity on websites or apps off Facebook for the purpose of showing you ads, you can opt out from your settings.

Learn more about how to adjust how ads are targeted to you based on your activity on and off Facebook

Twitter
Your iOS mobile device may provide a ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ setting.

On Android devices, your settings may allow you to ‘Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads’.

When you have opted out using this setting on a device, Twitter will not use in-app information collected from that device to infer your interests or serve ads to that device that are targeted based on your inferred interests.

Your mobile web browser may also provide a ‘Do Not Track’ browser setting.

When you have enabled this setting in your browser, Twitter will not use mobile web browsing information from that browser to infer your interests or serve ads to that device that are targeting based on your inferred interests.

Stopping advertising stalking you in other ways
These are probably the big three tracking sites, but there are other places you visit that will still serve you ads, based on the websites that you have visited.

To stop them following you, things get a little bit more involved, but they usually deliver immediate results.

Clearing your cookies, browser history and cache is a great place to start. You should do this periodically anyway on all of your devices to increase performance.

You can also reset your advertising ID. On Android devices, you can find the reset button in the ads menu inside the Google settings app, and on iPhones, you can find the reset button inside the settings app in the privacy menu, under advertising.

Do you have any tips for stopping ads from following you around the internet?

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Written by Ben

1 Comments

Total Comments: 1
  1. 0
    0

    I’ve used Google Chrome for a long time as my default browser and I was bombarded by ads which, as you say, seem to follow you everywhere. Even if you switch the “targeted” ads off you will still get other ads on practically every web page.

    I recently switched to the browser “Opera” and it has been a lifesaver. The first site I went to had numerous ads down both sides of the page. When I clicked the “block ads” button to the ON position, both sides went blank. It was fantastic.

    Of course you get the occasional site that detects that you have an ad blocker running and won’t let you in until you disable the ad blocker.

    As a bonus, opera comes with a free VPN which, when switched on, lets you surf the net anonymously. There are sites that the Australian government has blocked and you cannot get to unless you have a VPN. I renewed my current VPN earlier this year and it cost nearly $10 a month. Now Opera offers this service for free.

    So far I’m just loving Opera.


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