EPINIONS

APC’s read­ers are talk­ing about on­line ad track­ing

APC Australia - - Contents -

“I visit a lot of news web­sites and, since I’m a bit stingy, I don’t have any paid mem­ber­ships for their ser­vices, mean­ing I get served up all sorts of ads.”

Pri­vacy and per­sonal on­line se­cu­rity is a hot topic of con­ver­sa­tion these days, so I thought I’d fol­low some of your ad­vice; namely to do with chang­ing pass­words, mak­ing them unique to all my on­line ac­counts and re­mov­ing cook­ies, just in case my de­vice gets stolen.

How­ever, I might have gone a bit over­board, as I got rid of, well... all of them. I visit a lot of news web­sites and, since I’m a bit stingy, I don’t have any paid mem­ber­ships for their ser­vices, mean­ing I get served up all sorts of ads. Due to the fact that I of­ten shop for things on­line (soc­cer boots, the odd bit of tech, cloth­ing and that N7 hoodie my son stole from me), the ads I saw were more of­ten than not catered to my in­ter­ests. I used to see deals for new tech, no­tices of sales on the web­sites I fre­quent or weird nerdy mer­chan­dise. But now that I’ve rid my browser of all its cook­ies, I’m landed with things like women’s fash­ion, tents, chick flicks and hol­i­days I could never af­ford!

I want my old ads back! I sup­pose it’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore Chrome re-learns my ways and I see all the ‘nice’ ads again, but un­til then, I’m just go­ing to have to put up with it... No, thanks, SEEK, I’m not look­ing for a new job right now, go away. Oh, and I’m not look­ing to open a ran­dom busi­ness ac­count with any­one, thanks, Com­mBank. Sorry. Jim Bligh

Ed replies: Yep, I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced the same thing since ad­just­ing Google’s ad per­son­al­i­sa­tion set­tings for my main ac­count — you can find these op­tions by us­ing your web browser to nav­i­gate to my­ac­count.google.com, then ‘Per­sonal info & pri­vacy > Ad Set­tings’.

While I’ve turned ‘per­son­al­i­sa­tion’ off com­pletely, Google is ac­tu­ally pretty flex­i­ble in the set­tings it pro­vides when it comes to tai­lor­ing what ads you want to see. You can spec­ify top­ics you’re in­ter­ested in (which Google will au­to­mat­i­cally pop­u­late based on things like your web searches) and even black­list those you’re not, as you can see in the screen­shot above.

Ad­just­ing these to bet­ter suit your in­ter­ests is per­haps a more eth­i­cal ap­proach to just us­ing an ad blocker: it means you’ll still be sup­port­ing the free web­sites you visit that rely on ad­ver­tis­ing to pay the bills, but you’ll also cut down on the amount of ir­rel­e­vant ads and info that would oth­er­wise be thrown your way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.