Privacy Series: Online Tracking & DNT

You’re being watched! Remember that sign?

We spend part of our lives within the online world, and few of us question our daily online habits and their consequences. Truth be told, you’re being watched. And rewatched, and even cross-watched.

You’re being tracked all-around major websites, following and analyzing your activity, and compiling all of this data into a database. For what? Numerous reasons, mainly being profit-making. The more a given platform or website knows about you, the better it can personalize content to fill your specific needs.

That’s why you see the ads featuring that exact product you’ve been searching for last week. That’s why you’re seeing those annoying ads asking you to sign up for that course you’ve been reading reviews about. Do we need to say more? Of course, it’s horrible. Though, we have some good news.

You still have the power to change that.

There’re many tools that’ll help you restore your online privacy, and we’ll touch on most of them in our ongoing privacy-series educational posts.

Beware of your browser’s privacy settings, as almost most well-established browsers offer their users privacy levels, including advanced privacy-preserving settings.

For the average user, it could be changing settings to restrict cookies, or turning ‘private browsing’ mode to increase one’s privacy. However, numerous researches have found that ‘private browsing’ might not be the best solution (in some cases, may compromise your privacy).

Consider turning on the ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) setting within your browser’s settings. DNT enables you to keep your online activity safe and private from being followed across different websites, advertisers, analytics, and social media platforms. We shall mention that turning DNT setting in your browser doesn’t guarantee you privacy — no matter how silly it sounds.

Wait, but why? When you enable DNT setting in your browser, your browser requests another website not to track you (by sending a special header to their website). And here’s the tricky part: honoring the DNT setting is voluntary. Few websites will honor DNT, while most of them (especially the individual websites) will ignore your preference.

The moral? Beware of the tools you use, and always double-check everything privacy-related! Remember: you’re being tracked. We’ll keep explaining to you how and what exactly you can do to protect yourself!

Next time, we’ll cover the importance of understanding cookies and fingerprinting, as well as tools to protect yourself against further third-party data collection.

Stay tuned, Razers!

About Raze Network

Raze Network is a cross-chain privacy protocol. It is built as a native privacy layer that can provide end-to-end anonymity for the entire DeFi stack. The Raze Network applies zkSNARKs to the Zether framework to build a second-layer decentralized anonymous module. The objective of Raze Network is to enable cross-chain privacy-preserving payment and trading systems while protecting the transparency of your assets and behaviors from surveillance.

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Raze is a trustless zero-knowledge proof system designed specifically for decentralized finance.