Every day, millions of Internet users visit many sites without even suspecting that their every step is carefully monitored and analyzed. Personal pages on social networks, request history in Chrome and even Safari all serve as a source for compiling your profile. The system automatically generates a portrait of the user, including age, gender, place of residence, also relevant interests identified based on your last online activity. The collected data is used to select advertisements that exactly match your interests.
How does targeted advertising work?
Targeting is a real boon for companies, allowing them to find their target audience from the mass of users. A number of selection criteria are used, including geographic data, gender, age category, education, income level, hobbies, profession and even nationality. The aggregate of data helps to deliver those ads which will attract user’s attention. This is how it works: as soon as you go to the website of the online store, cookies are immediately sent to your device, which subsequently transmit information to advertising companies. Further, when you go to other pages, banners and commercials begin to appear with exactly the products that you were just interested in.
How to keep anonymity online?
Many users who have never heard of such an algorithm have the impression that someone is reading their mind. In fact, such a precise hit can create conflicting emotions. Sometimes personalized marketing can be so intrusive and personal that it almost feels like you are being watched from your back in the full sense of the word. Then there is a well-founded desire to defend themselves, to maintain confidentiality. Fortunately, there are ways to combat targeted advertising, we offer you several ways to make your Internet surfing more comfortable.
VPN setup with integrated ad blocking
VPN services are perfect for those who are fed up with all-round ads. By using an intermediate proxy server between your hotspot and the sites you visit, the VPN obfuscates the trail, preventing tracking programs from collecting correct data about you. In addition, many VPN servers have an option to turn off ads completely, which, when activated, will save you from annoying pop-ups and unexpected banner ads.
Incognito mode in browser
In almost all browsers there is an option to select the incognito mode, the main idea of which is to ignore cookies. In other words, your browsing history will not be saved and third-party tracking programs will not be able to access your activity.
Regular cleaning of browser data
To effectively combat targeted ads, clear your browsing history, delete all cookies, and clear the cache folder. This must be done in absolutely all browsers that you use, on all devices. After these manipulations, turn off the ability to track in all social networks. In the end, you can check how well you are protected and what is the risk of privacy violation by advertisers is by running a check in the online service of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international legal organization.
Refusing advertising services
Businesses often use the same ways to track your interests and habits to better impact online advertising. But making changes to the settings will allow you to unsubscribe from advertising services. So, the international organization Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has developed an algorithm for checking a computer or any other gadget for the presence of targeting settings. You can scan your device on the official DAA website, where you can also find a specific company and unsubscribe from its ads by using cookies in your browser.
After studying the topic of targeting, and adopting the listed methods of fighting advertising campaigns, you can protect yourself from intrusive interference in your personal virtual space. After all, what could be more valuable than privacy and the absence of decisions imposed by someone.