Ghostery for Safari 1.1 review

Many blog, news and web services you visit use scripts and tiny, invisible images – called bugs – to track your online behaviour, providing that information to advertising networks and other web-usage trackers.

Some will say this is just a part of using the web but if you’d rather not make it so easy for companies to build a profile of your activities, check out Ghostery, a browser extension that alerts you to bugs and tracking cookies on web pages. This version is for Safari, but there are versions for Chrome and Firefox too.

With the extension installed you’ll see a box listing all the services that are tracking your visits to a page. Click the Ghostery icon in Safari’s toolbar and you get a detailed list of specific scripts with a breakdown of information about the company behind the script, what it does and how it shares data. You find out about the tracking company’s full privacy policy, a summary of the types of data the company collects, and how long it’s retained.

Ghostery does more than just reveal who’s tracking you. It also lets you block tracking. Check the Enable Bug Blocking box in Ghostery’s Settings screen and Ghostery actively blocks the loading of bugs and scripts.

Ghostery lists ad services tracking your web activity. You choose to allow or block them

Ghostery checks for tracking bugs from over 200 companies and it can automatically update that list with new or modified info. Alternatively, you can choose to manually update the list. You can also manually enter sites for which you want Ghostery to allow tracking – like Macworld.co.uk, where tracking is legitimately used to discover how readers navigate through the site to improve the user experience.

OUR VERDICT

The developers of Ghostery say its ultimate goal is for advertisers to be more open about how they track activity. If you’re concerned about such tracking, Ghostery is a good start.

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