General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

How do you know that Ad-Block and Tracking Block software really works?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15950 points ) April 13th, 2012

I use Chrome 95% of the time. Among other extensions, I am using AdBlock. I’m also using a recently released module from AVG called “do-not-track”.

AdBlock seems to be effective in that I am not seeing ads, which is fine with me. My question here is whether or not the server (who is supplying the ads) is getting back information * about* me, whether the ad shows on my screen or not.

With the AVG Do-Not-Track plugin, something is working, because it lists for me all of the blocked trackers. And since i installed that, I can’t get into FaceBook Scrabble any more, since they apparently require tracking in order to play Scrabble.

But how do I know that the tracking to other sites is really turned off?

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3 Answers

ro_in_motion's avatar

I know that Ad-Block works. There are more than enough nerds using it that if it didn’t work or did something sneaky, we would have known about it a long time ago.

Vincentt's avatar

In fact, Adblock for Chrome used to only “hide” the ads, not actually block it from being loaded (so the ad server could still track you). This was not a matter of the extension being sneaky, it was just Chrome not supporting the advanced blocking mode.

I do believe the Chrome version does prevent tracking nowadays, but I’m not sure (I use Firefox, in which it definitely does work). You could install an extension to view HTTP requests (or perhaps Chrome has something for that in its developer console) to see whether it actually works.

I do not really know about Do Not Track, but it sounds like Ghostery, what I think does work.

I can definitely call myself a nerd, and used Adblock on Chrome even when it did not “fully” work because at least hiding the ads was better than nothing. Do not assume something works because of that :)

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Vincentt – what you wrote is sort of what I figured. Ultimately, one cannot be 100% sure.

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