A lot of websites keep track of what you do online. They track pages you visit, what you buy, location data and more. That data is used to serve you ads. while browsing the web. You can prevent some of the data collection with a simple browser extension.
Disconnect is an extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that does just what its name says — it prevents sites like Digg, Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and more from tracking you. It runs in the background, but compromise your browsing experience. Download Disconnect here.
As you’ll see, you can unblock sites in real-time, just in case you think you need the blocked functionality, and you can also see what has been blocked. I’ll use the Chrome add-on as an example, as the other ones do the same thing.
After you install the extension, you’ll have a new button next to the address bar in Chrome. Clicking any of the sections will re-activate it, and you can do it if you think you’re missing on some functionality.
Every time you visit a website, Disconnect starts blocking tracking scripts on the site. I chose a site (which shall remain unnamed) to show you. This first view shows the site with Disconnect.me stopped completely.
You can see ads, as well as social network sharing buttons.
Here’s the same page with Disconnect turned on. You can see a lot of things are gone like the Facebook Like icon and Google Adsense ads which are notorious for tracking your web behavior.
Another functionality you can toggle is the Secure Wi-Fi one, which encrypts data you send to some domains (like some belonging to Facebook or Google) to avoid malicious parties from eavesdropping.
All in all, the service can be pretty useful if you’re worried about your privacy. If you’re particularly worried about tracking, you can use this in tandem with the Do Not Track feature in browsers.