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Ghostery – How to configure Ghostery to stop Trackers

13/12/2012

Ghostery is an excellent product, which has been criticised for the fact that it won’t stop trackers or cookies, unless you configure it correctly.  This visual guide, will show you what checkboxes to select to shut down all tracking.

1. Step 1 – download Ghostery

Select the download now tab (Green lettering)

https://www.ghostery.com/

ghostery download screen

2. Select Ghostery for the browser (Firefox or IE)

ghostery download page 2 firefox

Allow – If Firefox asks

allow

Install now

Restart Firefox

ghostery install now

Ghostery is now installed.

****

Step 2 – Configure Ghostery to Auto update their list of Trackers

Firefox Browser > TGM.  Remember the mnemonic of “TGM”, to get to the options

Tools > Ghostery > Manage Ghostery Options

ghostery tools options

General Tab > Enable Library Auto Update

This is to auto update the list of trackers/cookies directly from Ghostery.

ghostery autoupdate

Ghostery is installed, but it will not block any trackers or cookies, until step 3 is complete.

******

Step 3 – Block Trackers and Cookies

General Tab > “Blocking Options”

3pes tab > Select All > Save

Tick all 5 checkboxes – make sure all 5 are selected – and that you Save (bottom Left of screen)

ghostery blocking optionsIf you don’t check all 5 checkboxes – those option won’t work at all.  This is why Ghostery is often heavily criticised.

Select all > Save (Fastest way to select all checkboxes)

Now we see all 1288 elements are blocked

After “save”, ghostery may close down the options screen – so remember “TGM”, Tools > Ghostery > Manage to get back to these tabs.

ghostery tick checkboxes

Next, “cookies tab”.

Select All > Save

Then TGM to get back to the options screen

ghostery cookies tab

After Select All

Now all 758 Cookies are blocked

ghostery cookies select all

It is a shame that Ghostery does not stop all trackers/cookies by default upon install.  However, it’s a fantastic product, so we’ll overlook that quirk.

Step 4 – Feedback Balloon – Great fun!

The best feature of Ghostery is their big purple bubble – which lists which trackers are after  you.

ghostery bubble

  • Advanced Tab
  • Tick checkbox for Show Alert bubble
  • Dismiss Alert Bubble = increase this to 20 or 25 seconds,

so that you can read who’s tracking you…ghostery advanced tab

  • Second Auto Update Screen – This is why Ghostery is criticised. :(
  • Auto Update section
  • Block New elements by default ( Tick this checkbox) – it’s not checked by default.  If “privacy by default” were the design concept, this would be checked, but it’s not.  Be aware of these quirks.

ghostery advanced auto update

Now Ghostery will block all those trackers.

Feedback.

  • You will never again believe that you are safe on the web – Ghostery will alter your perception.
  • Their purple bubble, which details who’s watching you, is a masterpiece.
  • Now visit a website such as http://www.independent.co.uk.
  • Ghostery will list a big purple bubble of who’s tracking you on that newspaper.

ghostery bubble

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3 Comments
  1. guy fawkes permalink

    thank you, was using without checking the boxes thinking ghostery was blocking all :p

    • Hi,
      This is one of MIT’s main criticisms of Ghostery. As you’ve installed it, you think it’s working. But it’s not.

      It has to be configured to protect you.
      Ghostery is a great tool, and I can’t understand why they don’t block by default. :(

      Thanks for the comment.

    • No probs.

      Any more tools you come across – let me know.

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