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October 21, 2013 / carlispina

Browse the Web Privately With Disconnect

DisconnectAs you may know, a variety of companies are tracking your activity every time you browse the internet. This can take the form of advertisers who are looking for information about their ads to analytics companies that are tracking site popularity and traffic to social media companies and everything in between. For those concerned with the privacy of their data, Disconnect offers a tool to block much of this tracking.

DisconnectThe Disconnect browser extension will block search engines and many other third parties from collecting and storing information about your online activity. For each request that it blocks, it will also display a number, allowing you to quickly see the number and types of requests that Disconnect has blocked for each site that you visit. Because so many requests are blocked, Disconnect also says that it increases the average loading speed of webpages by 27%. As an added feature, you can also use Disconnect’s secure wi-fi data to encrypt data that you send to major websites while still automatically falling back on unencrypted transmissions when encryption would cause the page to fail. The extension is set up to work on default settings with little input from the user, but it also makes it easy for you to whitelist certain sites if you don’t mind giving your information to them. It also offers a nice option to visualize the data requests that were made, which can be instructive in showing how these requests fit together and what Disconnect is preventing.

Disconnect is currently available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari, which makes it an option for a wide range of users, and it is a pay-what-you-want tool, with an option to try it for free, so cost won’t be an issue when deciding if Disconnect is right for you. If you are interested in ensuring that your browsing activity is not publicly available for every company that opts to track it, this extension is worth a try.

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