Easily Control and Prevent Website Tracking

no-script When our stomachs digest food, some complicated processes are happening inside our bodies. When we run programs on our computers, millions of logical operations are happening in the CPU. Likewise, when we browse websites, many processes, about which we may not even have a clue, are happening behind the scenes. For example, when you go to a website, it may assign your browser a “cookie” or two, detect your location, system language, your screen resolution, and perform many other necessary and unnecessary things. Many of these sorts of functions are done using scripts.

Some scripts are less invasive, others are more, and there are scripts that are dangerous, and ones that are useful. The question is how can you control those scripts? The answer appears to be the free extension for the Mozilla Firefox browser called NoScript.

Here’s how it works: every time you go to a website that contains scripts, with this extension installed, you’ll receive a warning like this at the bottom of your Firefox browser:

rejected-script

And then you can choose whether or not you want to allow some or all of the scripts that have been blocked on a particular page.

blocker-options

This is very convenient because you can prevent websites from tracking you, i.e. your habits and preferences. Many websites today are very interconnected, and when you visit one popular website, another popular website may immediately know you’ve visited the other website, and as a result, a record about you ends up in a data mining company database and then sold to other companies for good profit, and who knows for what other reasons information about you may be used in the future. With this plug, you can limit the scope of information gathering about you.

There’s no version of this plugin for non-Mozilla browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Safari, but I have written in the past that probably the best Web browser is Firefox. The reasons are that it’s open-source (which means its code can always be scrutinized by anybody), it’s well developed and reliable, and because it has so many useful plugins.