Saturday, June 28, 2014

Public Service Announcement - Opt Out From Online Ads

I found this site as I was browsing around the net yesterday:

It allows you to opt-out of "interest based" or "online behavioral" advertising. Have you ever searched for something at a web site, and then for weeks afterwards, you see ads that feature the search results you clicked on? I once searched for the availability of a domain name at a registrar-I-won't-name and then for a month afterwards, I'd see ads from that registrar telling me my desired domain name was still available. It was very embarrassing, because my husband can see my computer screen just fine, and I never told him I was thinking of starting such a project. My browser told him before I ever got a chance to do so! This type of advertising is just creepy to begin with, and then it has to go and betray me like that!

The web app says it will take a few moments. It's not kidding. It will eventually come up with a list of 100+ advertisers that do interest-based advertising. You can pick and choose which you'd like to disable, or, you can do the easy thing and pick the Select All button. Click on Submit Your Choices, then be prepared to wait for a lot more moments. The process will place opt-out cookies on your computer for the advertisers you've selected. You'll need to visit this web page and complete the process on each device you use to access the Internet.

I've noticed one nice side effect on top of losing the spooky "I know what you searched for" ads. One particular site I visit often displays video ads that crash my browser on a regular basis. Now that I've done this, I haven't seen one video ad on that site. My browser is more stable now!

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