Remove, Disable Ad Blocker on your Browser | Protect your Personal Information Online

Are you using an advertisement blocker in your web browser?

Are you using an advertisement blocker enabled browser on your mobile, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop PC?

Are you using an add on or an extension with the web browser of your choice such as Google Chrome, Firefox Safari or any other mobile/tablet/PC?

If YES, then without any delay disable ad blocker on your web browser OR remove any browser add-ons or extension you may have installed on your web browser , be it on mobile/tablet/laptop/PC.

Ad blockers on web-browsers or ad blocker extensions or add-ons installed on browsers found to indulge in Personal Data Theft (or Personal Data harvesting)

You may have heard a saying : There is No Free lunch.

It means that any service which is being offered for free, might not be free of cost. There are some costs involved.

According to some studies, the ad blocker or advertisement blocker extensions for browsers or browsers enabled ad blockers have been found harvesting or storing or stealing the personal data of millions of unsuspecting consumers. This personal data harvesting is taking place across ad blockers and; includes the most popular names.

The data so harvested (collected) is then sold to those businesses for whom such personal data is valuable. For example, not only your sensitive data such as credit card information, tax returns, medical records, your connected surveillance videocam footage links, travel history and other sensitive data is valuable for any such buyer but also some very simple looking data such as your browsing history, the products you window shop online, terms you search etc. is a valuable information for the business buyers. All such data helps them understand your search habits, buying habits and the frequency of your spends online.

According to some research conducted by reputed research firms online, the global business for such harvested data is continuously growing and; because of the habit of mobile users using utilities such as ad blockers etc. to save time or to have a distraction free web browsing, the data harvesting business is likely to grow at a high rate in near future. 

According to an independent cyber security research mid 2019, the unlimited access of such harvested data was found to be given to a Company buyer for as low as $10-$50.

How to Protect Yourself From online Personal Information Theft or Data Theft or Harvesting

You may be thinking why, I'm not using the word Theft directly. The reason is simple: Most users who use ad-blocker enabled browsers or ad blocker extensions do not read the TOS (Terms of Service) document while installing the browser or an extension. They simply agree to the long TOS document. So in real, neither the browsers nor the browser add-ons/extensions are harvesting data without your permission. It is only that you gave them the access to the data without reading the TOS.

So what you must do to protect yourself from such personal Data Harvesting or Data Theft:

  1. Disable any additional functionalities in your Tablet/Laptop/Desktop/ Mobile web browser :  Keep your browser to as simply as you can. Note that nobody is immune to some data harvesting but the smaller the number of functions you enable on your browser, the lesser data you will give to the browser. Some amount of data harvesting is necessary for your browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera etc. to offer you good services and keep the browser happy. But the moment you start adding additional utilities such as advertisement blockers etc. the more personal information you will have to offer in return.  
  2. Remove web or mobile browser extensions / Add-ons: The reason is the same as above. The more extensions you install the more personal information you give. Installing extensions from Play Store or any other such App market place becomes additionally risky because mobile usage data reveals that people use the same mobile device for both surfing and banking, purchasing purposes. 
  3. Keep your web/mobile browser to as simple as possible.

The increased use of mobile devices and economical mobile internet charges have increased internet usage on mobile phones and devices. In addition, the availability of thousands of mobile apps, browser utilities, apps and browser extensions on Play Store etc. have increased the habit of using such free utilities. But in a World of where the risks of data theft or personal information theft are real, it is good to keep one's web/mobile browser to as simple as possible and simply disable/remove utilities/addons such as ad blockers, social media sharing extensions etc. 

No comments