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Find Out Which Websites are Tracking You Across the Web

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Have you ever wondered where the websites you visit send your information? Well, if you have, read on to find out about this new extension from Mozilla that will tell you how you are tracked across websites.

Editor’s Note: Most websites use cookies of some type, and all online advertisers do, including the advertisers on this site. You’re welcome to block cookies if that’s a worry.

Installing Collusion

We will be using Collusion to automatically track and link-up related cookies, to install it head over to the Collusion website and click on the download button.

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This will take you to the Collusion page in the Firefox add-ons gallery, where you can click on the add to Firefox button.

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You will then have to confirm that you want to install the add-on by clicking the Install Now button.

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Once installed, when you visit a website you will see a small red and white button in the right-hand corner of the add-on bar.

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If you click on it, Collusion will open up and give you an overview of which websites have tracked you, and link websites using the same trackers in a spider diagram like fashion.

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The sites that you have visited directly will have a blue glow surrounding them, to see where a website that you have visited has sent your data, simply hover over it. Below we can see that 9gag sent cookies to 4 third-party websites.

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To get more detailed information about the websites your information was sent to, click on the website you visited, a menu will appear on the left hand side where you will be able to see the specific URL’s that information was sent to.

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You should be aware that not all cookies are tracking you however, they are used for a number of things. If you wish to find out more about cookies and other tracking methods check out this post.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 06/27/12

Comments (17)

  1. Subash

    Really Wonderful and nice to know…:)

  2. Irish_IT

    *Inception Moment* What if THIS software is the one actually tracking you!?! 0.o

  3. cam2644

    Tracking is becoming the next big scandal on the net. Most users are unprotected and our legislators are more in tow with their corporate sponsors and lobbyists than interested in helping us.

  4. PJ

    Why do I need this?
    I am already using DO NOT TRACK PLUS which not only tells you what sites are tracking you but also blocks those sites.

  5. RA

    Also available for chrome and safari:
    https://disconnect.me/tools

  6. rizzoli

    Very nice – posts are always clear and useful – kudos.

  7. Knightspawn5

    This might be great for FireFox if you use firefox. I use chrome and IE, I have Do not Track Plus on both and it works well. It blocks the sites from tracking you. This just tells your being tracked, It doesnt stop it….. Do Not Track Plus does…….

  8. Cerdant

    Excellent article! This will help me teach my users just how much information a seemingly harmless website gathers and passes on.

  9. Raging God

    So it tracks the trackers? like tracking within a track 2 levels?

    LOL “track”tion

  10. Seth

    Interesting that my ‘Do not Track Plus’ plugin shows HowtoGeek.com with more tracking than most websites I visit (11).

  11. Michael

    Collusion is a “nice to have” utility. The major problem with Collusion is that, with all the supposed information provided, how can any user of Collusion stop the tracking? There are no options available to really stop the tracking. There are some addons, extension, etc., available .. such as Do Not Track Plus … but does not stop “all” the tracking. There is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet! And, as with anything else, if you don’t want anyone to see do not access the Internet!

  12. ajketchum

    In addition to Do Not Track Plus another good app for chrome is Ad Block. Then you don’t even have to see the ads. No banner ads shoving the page down. No ads for ED ads.

  13. A. Stanford

    Wished this was usable for windows IE8… or is it? How?

  14. Joe O'Loughlin

    Creates a huge amount of scary information. I had NO idea. Got to find a
    tracking blocker.. This is definitely a keeper.

  15. RRRoman

    I’m running chrome and I use the AVG Do Not Track-tool to see and block the trackers. So those who do not use Mozilla might want to give it a try. As I’ve heard google themselves are among those who want to track everyone since they’ve refused to implement the Do-not-track meta-tag as mozilla have (or at least that’s what I’ve heard) so I was actually surprised that AVG do-not-track tool could be installed on chrome (but whether it works or not I cannot tell at least it’s telling me that it’s blocking the trackers I want it to block)

  16. howard10

    like Ray replied I am amazed that a mother able to profit $4635 in 1 month on the computer. did you read this page N U T T Y R | C H . C O M

  17. Jim

    Interestingly if you search available add-ons from the firefox add-ons page for DO NOT TRACK PLUS, it cannot find it.
    But if you do a google search, it comes up with the add-ons page for DO NOT TRACK PLUS, which is a Mozilla featured add-on.
    Odd behaviour.

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