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Online Privacy Tougher Than You Can Possibly Imagine

We've all heard the horror stories about online privacy. Google servers read your Gmail, Facebook once sold your data and Google Buzz shared your personal activities with your mail contacts. And that's just the major vendors.

Then there are the legions of Web sites that track what you do so they can sell targeted ads.

There are solutions for those that hate all this as much as I do. Plenty of software titles exist to block these snoops. Problem is these tools can be harder to use than an F-14.

A recent study looked at the usability of nine anti-tracking tools and didn't find much to like.

The problem is each tool has to be set up to match the user's goals. There are various types of tracking, and it is not at all intuitive as to which does what, how to choose what to block and what not to block. Beyond that, once you set these tools up, they are a bit invisible -- some don't tell you exactly what is going on, making it difficult to fine tune your settings.

Do you use anti-tracking software? If so, what tool and how does it work? Share your experience at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 11/16/2011 at 1:18 PM


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