Behavioral Advertising

338207-browser-wars-browser-wars-chrome-vs-ie-vs-firefoxLet’s get to the nitty gritty here – What is behavioral advertising? It basically means that “someone” analyzes your the things you do online (i.e. clicking on a certain link or visiting a certain site) to gain information about you (and your behavior) in an attempt to advertise their services or products. For example, let’s say you go to Nordstrom’s website and search for a handbag. You find one you like, then click on it – it’s a pink handbag. After looking at the pics or maybe reading the reviews, you decide it’s not the right handbag for you. A few minutes later, you visit Facebook and miraculously, you see that same pink purse (and maybe other similar pink purses) highlighted in the “Things you might like” section or in the ads on the side of the page. How did that happen? You have just experienced Behavioral Advertising! This freaks me out. I absolutely hate it. It’s like someone is stalking my every move on the internet. Well, they are! (see also Buh-Bye Facebook)

“Some of the ads you receive on Web pages are customized based on predictions about your interests generated from your visits to different Web sites. This type of ad customization is sometimes called “online behavioral” or “interest-based” advertising.” This definition is according to the Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice page. The good news is that you can find out all the companies that are collecting your behavioral data (not that you care) and OPT OUT. Personally, I could care less who these companies are! There’s no need for me to pick and choose who gets to track me and who doesn’t! Scroll all the way to the bottom on this page and select Choose All Companies, as shown in the image below.

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Few tips: 1) Before you do this, you need to ensure that cookies are enabled on your browser (If you don’t know what cookies are, read my post Online Tracking). If you don’t really care and just want to get it done for the sake of this exercise, instructions (with pictures) on how to enable cookies for all browsers can be found here here. 2) If you use multiple browsers (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox), be sure to do this on each and every browser, including your mobile devices!

Happy no-behavioral-advertising Browsing!