Whenever we use the internet, we’re bombarded by advertisements from every company we’ve ever googled or sites similar to ones we’ve clicked through. Or, when streaming a show, an ad pops up and takes you to a different screen entirely. Many larger networks use the same advertisement companies, making it easy for them to track your movement through the internet. And, because ads come from these centralized networks, you’re inadvertently connecting to several different servers that distribute those banner or block advertisements that get in between you and your content. How can you protect your online information and block ads?
Use a VPN service
What is a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. If you don’t want to use an ad-blocker but want your privacy protected, a VPN is a great alternative. There are several types of VPNs, and all of which take your outgoing data and channel it through an encrypted tunnel or a set of proxy servers to hide the traffic from you to the internet, making it appear as though the VPN is initiating the exchange rather than you. Encrypted data coming from the VPN can’t be read by third parties trying to steal your information. As an added bonus, many VPN providers also include anti-malware or anti-spyware in their software for extra protection.
Enable your browser’s built-in ad-blocker service
Some companies are now offering built-in ad-blockers as automatic extensions to help safeguard your privacy and online information from advertisement services. Google has also started to test a developer version of their built-in ad-blocker for Chrome users. These services will be able to automatically block ads from the sites you visit online. You will be able to turn off the ad-blocking settings in the control panel of the browser in case you want to fiscally support the site you are visiting that runs on ad revenue, or if the site does not allow ad-blocking users to access their content.
Use websites that have HTTPS or SSL connections
Using sites that are hosted on an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which supports an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection, can provide extra security while you use public Wi-Fi. You will notice a green lock icon appear in the URL bar of the browser you are using, which indicates that the interactions between the site and your browser are encrypted and secured over an unsecure network, such as public Wi-Fi.
Choose the right ad-blocker for your needs
All ad-blockers are not created equal. Some are known for blocking every ad, whereas some are known for letting certain ads through as long as they meet a set of criteria. Choosing the ad-blocker that works best for you will take a little bit of research and maybe a few trials. You want to make sure that you choose the right kind of ad-blocker to protect your data, and to make sure that you agree with their terms and conditions. It has been highly recommended by various tech leaders to use an ad-blocker to protect your data.