How to protect yourself online this year

Stop online advertisers tracking you in the real world even if you opt-out of location sharing

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Stop this by disabling your Mobile Advertising ID.

Nowadays, your Mobile Advertising ID is your digital fingerprint, and disabling it is one of the best things you can do for your online privacy.

Stop tracking cookies grabbing almost anything from your personal data.

Tracking cookies are so invasive they’re sometimes classified as spyware. You probably have a bunch in your device right now.

Stop tracking cookies by using a cookie-blocker like millions of others have already done.

Our recommended Cookie-blockers:
(but do your own research too)
Why are cookies really such a hot topic?

Some companies have proprietary “walled gardens” of personal data that they collect without tracking cookies – like Google or Facebook. This means they don’t need cookies to target you with ads because they already know so much about you.

Advertising companies that don’t have walled gardens of data rely on tracking cookies the most. Without cookies, the “wrong” demographics of people would click and view ads but never buy from them… which makes advertising expensive. So without tracking cookies, brands would be forced to advertise exclusively on platforms like Google or Facebook – where the “right” people that advertisers want to have clicking and viewing their ads could still be targeted, keeping ads affordable. Basically, removing cookies hurts non Big Tech advertising platforms and forces more ad spending to Big Tech.

In 2021, Google tried to shut down cookies. Instead, they wanted to target people with advertisements using their new system called Federated Learning of Cohorts (now “Topics”) which relied on their walled gardens of data they collect through Android, Chrome, and other proprietary Google interfaces. This project failed, however, with Google product director Vinay Goel telling Reuters: “In tests last year, some advertisers found FLoC less effective than cookies for choosing users to target and the system carried the risk of exposing an individual’s browsing history."

Thus, mass data collection through cookies continues to thrive, as do many advertising companies relying on them to target innocent people.

What other data can advertising companies use?

  • Your microphone to hear your conversations. Read more
  • Your mental health data and conditions. Read more
  • Scanned email accounts. Read more
  • What medicines you buy. Read more
  • Location data from phone companies. Read more
  • Location from wifi routers when you connect to them. Read more
  • TikTok can even collect anything you type while their app is open – including passwords and credit card information. Read more
  • Governmental lobbying. Read more

In the end, making small changes like the ones on this page are the easiest and most realistic things you can do to protect yourself, simply. Change your settings once, and gain a huge advantage, forever.

You might even improve your battery life when your phone stops constantly broadcasting your location from the background.

Be careful out there, and take the simple steps on this page to best protect yourself with minimal inconvenience.

Why ChaChing doesn't need your data to operate