When browsing the Internet we leave traces of our presence on the pages, of the links that we click, of the time that we remain in the different contents or of whether or not we have seen a certain video. But you also offer other data that will allow you to be identified, followed and, later , classified and analyzed.
The tracking and storage by content companies, service providers or specialized companies of the traces that our Internet browsing leaves is known as tracking or with the word tracking .
The purposes and reasons of these companies are diverse, creating customer profiles, analysis in search of more effective sales strategies, advertising segmentation or price manipulation based on profiles for online sales , are the most common. Advances in the storage, treatment and analysis of large masses of information, what we know as BigdataIt has allowed tracking to become a kind of lucrative mining and user data to be the product of companies specialized in monitoring the behavior of individuals and groups on the Internet. These companies will in turn sell this analyzed data to companies in disparate sectors such as communication, retail distribution, online service companies or public or private political institutions and intelligence services.
Defense against identification and tracking
Can anything be done to avoid this crawl? Not much.
The immediate answer is not hopeful: it does not seem to be in our hands to avoid being tracked, analyzed and classified in our habitual use of Internet browsing . However, the little that is in our hands we must do.
All browsers incorporate privacy options and their use is an unavoidable first step to protect our privacy. It is not enough since the current technologies would force us, if we want complete privacy, to stop using functionalities and programs of the Web pages that would make their reasonable use impossible. Full privacy would force us to stop using the programs that run in our browser ( plugin ) and most of the usual service pages would no longer be usable.
However, it is possible to develop a first barrier to defend our privacy with a little attention and the execution of certain tasks that we all must know and practice. The first steps to protect our privacy against web page tracking techniques should be:
- Know and properly configure the privacy options in the browser (or browsers) we use.
- Review privacy settings from time to time and, if possible, whenever we update your browser.
- Know the way to clean browsing data and cookies .
In this article we will review the way to access the cleaning of browsing data in the main browsers.
Delete browsing data and cookies in the main browsers
Google Chrome browser
To delete all the navigation data, once Chrome is open, we will click on the menu icon, located in the upper right corner. We select More tools> Clear browsing data . In the dialog box that appears, we will select the types of information that we want to delete. Once selected (and after selecting the time option in the top drop-down: we recommend the option “the origin of time” that eliminates everything) we will click on Clear browsing data .
Mozilla Firefox browser
To delete all the browsing data, once Firefox is open we will click on the menu icon , located in the upper corner and select History and in the drop-down that will open we will click on Clear history . A new box will open where we can choose the time range that we want to delete (we recommend the All option), and the elements that we want to delete. We recommend deleting at least the elements that Firefox offers us already marked: History of downloads and navigation, cookies, forms, cache and active sessions. To finish we will click on Clean now .
Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 browser
Once IE10 is open we will click on the Configuration icon that is in the upper right part of the window.
In the drop-down that appears click Internet Options and then click Delete. In the box that appears, it is recommended to mark at least the following elements: temporary Internet files, Cookies, history, download history and form data. Once the elements are marked, we finish with Delete and we will leave the Internet options by clicking OK .
Microsoft Edge browser for Windows 10
Microsoft Edge has a button (three horizontal bars, called a Hub ) that allows access to the history and its deletion.
But it also has within the configuration menu which is accessed from the “More” button (three points), which will allow us to delete the Browsing History, but also cookies and data cache (the minimum recommended). To do this we must go to Settings , click on the button ” Choose what should be deleted ” and in the next window click on the button ” Delete ” after marking the elements that we want to delete.
Chrome browser for Android mobile devices
On the browser screen we will click on the icon at the top right, a menu will be displayed and we will click on Configuration , in the Configuration menu we will access Privacy . in the privacy menu we will click on the CLEAR NAVIGATION DATA button and in the window that appears we recommend checking at least Browsing history, Cache and Cookies. To finish, click on DELETE .
Internet browser for Android mobile devices
The procedure is similar to that of Chrome with some variations in the names. We will press the MORE button at the top right, and we access SETTINGS , in the next window we press PRIVACY and once there, in Delete personal data , we end by clicking on the DELETE button (we recommend deleting at least the history, cache and cookies ).
Safari browser on Apple mobile devices
We will click on the SETTINGS icon and there we will click on the Safari item in the list, inside the Safari window we will click on Clear history and data from web systems and in the next window on Clear history and data . We will leave with the arrows of the bar at the top left.