If you were browsing the web twenty, fifteen, or even ten years ago, you knew that there was some risk of getting in contact with a computer virus or a Trojan horse, but that was about it. The Internet environment wasn’t as insecure as it is right now. To remedy the situation, consider using the Ghostery browser.
Privacy, security, and today’s most dangerous threats
Nowadays, neither we nor our data is entirely safe at any moment. In addition to the viruses that we know from a long time ago – which we could quickly detect and eliminate through antivirus software – we now have to deal with hackers, identity thieves, people wanting to commit frauds or scams, phishing and smishing attacks, DDoS offenses, unauthorized crypto mining, unsafe public Wi-Fi networks, and more.
If that weren’t enough, we have to protect ourselves from the prying eyes of spies, governmental surveillance agencies, and even our Internet Service Providers (ISPs) collecting logs of our data to sell them to the highest bidder on the web. It is a terrifying landscape for online security.
What is the Ghostery browser?
However, the Internet has also made huge leaps in producing solutions to online and data security issues. One of the most useful tools to achieve privacy is Ghostery. It is a free browser extension that, once installed, acts like a web browser, serving as a browsing platform in a similar way that some of the most widely known suspects, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, and others.
Ghostery can be found on both the mobile and desktop versions. Owned by German firm Cliqz since last year, Ghostery has reached worldwide fame, and it is now used by an average of seven million people per month.
It was launched in 2009, and it is now one of the most implemented privacy browser extensions. Ghostery can be found on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, iOS, and Android. It will, additionally, provide its mobile users with updated platforms for both the iOS and Android operating systems, in an attempt to keep up with the recent trend of people migrating to mobile devices.
What are Ghostery’s functionalities?
Ghostery browser’s functionalities can be summed up in two features: blocking, and reporting. It prevents HTTP requests, and it will redirect them in varying methods. It blocks third-party tracking scripts that pages use to gather data that they found useful for advertising and marketing purposes. It also curates a “script library” that can spot new tracking scripts while also creating whitelists of sites that don’t allow third-party script blocking. The Ghostery browser renders cookies useless. It also reports all tracking packages detected.
The tool began its ad-blocking path in 2009, but it was when it was endorsed by Edward Snowden that understandably, it was recognized globally. On top of detecting and blocking trackers on sites you enter, Ghostery also speeds up your browsing experience.
With the latest upside, the Ghostery browser can offer advanced privacy settings and capabilities. For example, users now can block ad tracking by sorting it in categories such as adult advertising, site analytics, and others.
It also has an anonymous search engine, named Ghost Search, which doesn’t keep any data that may link a person with its traffic or shared content; a built-in ad blocker, and other exciting offerings for desktop and mobile users.
In the case of the Android app, it includes the Smart Blocking feature, which enables the browser to detect which trackers to block or not to block automatically, and Enhanced Anti-Tracking.
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As you can see, Ghostery is full of offerings and features for both platforms. However, it is not without drawbacks or flaws. For example, the Ghostrank feature keeps anonymous records of the ads you see and the ones you block, sending the information to advertisers.
The marketing and advertising industry will, as a consequence, work to avoid being blocked. There is no risk involved, but that itself can be an unsatisfactory scenario for the most extreme privacy-conscious people. After all, most people find ads to be annoying.
If you want an alternative for private and anonymous browsing to substitute Ghostery, you can try a VPN service. Virtual Private Networks are online encryption services that hide the user’s content and reroute it to remote servers, away from the Internet Service Provider and other potentially malicious agents.
By using “protocols,” VPN apps create a virtual tunnel for the customer’s information to safely travel. These services protect the client against hackers, crypto miners, malware developers, censorship, governmental surveillance, and more.
Ideally, if you want to substitute the Ghostery browser for a VPN app, you should look for one with ad-blocking capabilities and a no logging policy. Otherwise, your sessions and browsing activity will be tracked. Also, VPNs have the bonus that they can help you unblock internationally restricted content.
TorGuard is arguably the best VPN service you need to consider. It has incredible security features, and it treats your shared content online with due responsibility and trustworthiness. TorGuard also manages more than 3,000 servers in 55 nations around the world, with multiprotocol availability (including OpenVPN,) and it is compatible with several platforms and operating systems in the market.
In conclusion, Ghostery has almost everything you should look for in a privacy browser. It blocks ads and scripts, and it doesn’t affect browsing speed. For a complete security suite, try a VPN service, though.