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Security & privacy

DuckDuckGo compiled all the sites stalking you online

There are two types of people in the world today — those who like targeted ads and those who hate them and think they’re creepy. Why would anyone like targeted ads, you might be wondering? Well, you’re going to see ads anyway, so why not have them feature products you’re interested in? We get it.

Even if you don’t mind targeted ads, you might be a little freaked out when they start showing up in your mailbox at home. Tap or click here to see how advertisers are sending personalized ads through snail mail.

The scariest part of being tracked isn’t the advertising, it’s all the personal details companies can figure out about you. But we’ve got some good news. DuckDuckGo has created a tool that will help you track the trackers.

Hidden tracking sites exposed

Have you ever used DuckDuckGo? It’s an internet search engine like Google but is more focused on user privacy.

It doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history, so you don’t have to worry about targeted ads or being trapped in a search filter bubble, which actually means you get more results. 

RELATED: These apps are reading your emails and selling your data

Since DuckDuckGo prioritizes privacy, it’s been looking into website tracking behaviors for years. There are sites out there that do more than just track your shopping history, they also keep tabs on things like your location and search histories.

With this data, companies can determine your age, gender, ethnicity, interests, habits and more. Even scarier, not all of the companies collecting this information hold on to it, they sell it to the highest bidders.

Now, DuckDuckGo is introducing a new tool called Tracker Radar which is automatically generated from the information it gathers while tracking the trackers. Currently, the tool consists of more than 5,000 domains that nearly 1,700 companies are using to track people online.

How to utilize Tracker Radar’s insights

The purpose behind Tracker Radar is to help people block websites from tracking them. As we said earlier, there are more than 5,000 domains on Tracker Radar’s list of offenders. See the entire list here.

While the list of sites is interesting, it’s not going to help you avoid being tracked. In order to do that, you need to take advantage of other tools offered by DuckDuckGo.

You can use the free DuckDuckGo Privacy Browers available for both Apple and Android devices. Surfing the net with this browser blocks all those trackers that are hidden on most of the sites you visit on a daily basis.

RELATED: 8 ways to stop your phone from tracking you

If you’re happy with the browser you are already using, you can add the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension. It’s available for most popular browsers including Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Now that you know tons of websites are tracking your every move, it’s time to do something about it. Take advantage of these tracker blocking tools and you keep your digital life private.

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