How to Opt-Out of online advertising tracking

How to Opt-Out of online advertising tracking:

Ever notice that all it takes is one search on or, god forbid, one visit to a product or service web site and for the next few weeks everywhere you go on the web you are peppered with ads for Prune Juice or Chevy Silverado pickups or A4 copy paper or whatever else you had the misfortune of looking at on the web?

That is not magic. It’s done by the online marketing wizards who plant little cookies and beacons on your computer’s web browser. Those cookies and beacons tell the next web page you visit what your search and web-visit traffic has been about lately. They use that information to shape your experience on the web.

If you think that’s creepy or if you would like to stop the *participating* advertisers from tracking you around the web, do this:

1. Visit this site in *each* browser and each computer that you use. Meaning, if you use IE, Chrome and Firefox, then you need to do this in in each browser you use on each computer you use. Hey there, stop your whining. You didn’t think they were going to make this easy on you did you? It took a literal threatened act of congress to get you this much. Be grateful.

2. It will take a few minutes for the system to figure out how many *participating* marketers are tracking you. Wait. Be patient. Stop your whining. See above about easy. When the process completes click on the “close” option on the dialog box.

3. Scroll down on the page a little bit and click on the big blue button labeled “Choose all companies” to opt out of all the marketing companies and their buildings full of PhD.s who spend all day, every day, figuring out how to separate you from your money.

4. It will take a few minutes for the system to communicate with the APIs of all those nefarious marketing companies. Be patient. Your credit card balance will thank you.

5. When the process completes, check the middle column: “NAI Members Customizing Ads For Your Browser (XX)”. If the XX number is 0, then you have freed yourself from the shackles of the *participating* online marketers on that browser. Go to step #13.

6. If the XX number is not 0, then click on the company names in that list, one by one.

7. For each company, right-click on the link to that company’s privacy policy (the 2nd link in the company’s info).

8. Select “open in new tab”.

9. Click on the new tab that just opened.

10. Look for the “opt-out” link. You may have to scroll around for it. They are required by law to have it, so it is there somewhere.

11. Click on the “opt-out” link.

12. Go back to #7 and repeat until you are done.

13. Repeat this for *every* browser on *every* computer you use. Stop whining. What you are doing is a subversive act that threatens the very core of the world’s economic system: unnecessary consumption. Be brave. Be strong. Be havin’ mo’ money instead of mo’ stuff.

14. Celebrate. And, while you’re at it, tip a glass in sadness for the waste of an entire generation’s best talents: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” – Jeff Hammerbacher, one of the very earliest, core employees at Facebook.

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