Realtime Visualization of Invisible Sites that Track Users

Do you know that when your browser connects to a particular, it can also connect to other invisible sites which users have no idea about. For example, Facebook runs its Javascripts of another domain which is fbcdn.net.

Sometimes these invisible sites also track your usage and store information about your browsing activity. Collusion is a handy Chrome and Firefox extension which helps users check if the sites they are visiting are also connecting to other invisible sites.

Just install the Collusion extension for Chrome and start surfing. The collusion icon shows the number of sites that are informed from the page you are viewing.

Realtime Visualization of Invisible Sites Tracking Users

The sites with a red circle are the advertisers while the grey circles connecting are usually social media sites.

Not all invisible sites which are informed about a visitor are dangerous. Most of them are not. For example most blogs will inform Google Analytics about a visitor.

If user clicks on “Block known tracking sites” the extension then shows which advertisers are known trackers and are blocked. They are displayed in the visualization with a blocked symbol.

If you are interested in more privacy tips, the following posts might be useful.

Try out Collusion on Chrome or Firefox and drop in your comments.

Link: Collusion on Chrome | Firefox

[Tip] Block Yourself from Facebook Unless you have Notifications Pending

Facebook is a great way to connect with friends from school and college. It is also a great way to keep track of what is happening in the lives of people you know. But most people generate very little useful information on Facebook. I often find 90% of the updates on Facebook being a waste of time.

Most status update can be about mundane things like describing the weather or sharing jokes which often are not funny and the worst of them all sharing funny cat images. But the social networking website is a very addictive service and often I find myself wasting time on it. For someone like me, who works online this can be a catastrophic distraction. :-P

But I do not want to stop using Facebook completely and wanted to look up a online tool that helped me.

Facebook Nanny is a Chrome browser extension which allows users to only access their Facebook account, only if there is a notification pending.

A popup message shows up telling the user to get back to work and not waste time on Facebook. :-)

Users can also access their own profile on Facebook and messages but not their feeds and lists.

To allow yourself full access to Facebook, either you can login from a different browser, disable the extension or use incognito mode on Chrome.

Are there any other tools you use to stop yourself from spending more time on Facebook and similar sites?

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Facebook Nanny

Set specific websites to automatically open in Chrome’s Incognito Mode

Chrome users have a useful feature on the browser called Incognito Mode. It basically disallows information on the webpages you visit from being stored on the browser. It also deletes all new cookies after the incognito mode is closed.

This is useful for looking up websites without the need to clear caches all the time. But usually we need incognito mode only for certain websites.

Incognito This is a nice little Chrome extension that allows users to open a specified webpage directly in incognito mode. For instance whenever I type in ‘google.com’ in the address bar, I can set the page to open in incognito mode automatically

How it works!

  • Download the extension on your Chrome browser (the link is at the end of the post).
  • Once the extension is installed on your browser a incognito mode icon appears next to the browser omni bar (address bar).
  • Right-click on the icon and look up the options. In Options or the preferences of the extension, we can add a URL that is set to automatically open in incognito mode as seen in the image below.

Incognito This Chrome Extension - Options

  • Additionally we can visit any webpage and click on the extension’s icon and it opens the page in incognito mode.

Try out incognito this and drop in your comments.

Link: Incognito This

Get News Feeds from Around the World on Your Chrome Startpage

Usually I avoid using the default start page (New Tab page) on my Chrome browser. I prefer using a customized one which allows a bit more productivity.

As I love keeping in touch with news and updates from around the world, I found New Tab Feeder a great way to get News feeds from reputed websites on the start page itself

News Feeds on Chrome Startpage

New Tab Feeder: Options

  • As the above screenshot shows, users can constantly look up headlines from different sources.
  • Most importantly users can search within the headlines from the search bar.
  • The design is simple and background images can be sourced from Instagram.

I found this extension very useful if you are interested in the news. In case you want something more productive with the ability to leave yourself notes on the startpage, you might like looking up Incredible Start Page.

You might also like to readup these 5 great apps to customize your Chrome’s start page.

Try out New Tab Feeder and drop in your comments.

Link: New Tab Feeder

A Google Chrome Extension which helps you maintain your privacy!

If you are one of those who have always been concerned about big players like Facebook collecting your personal browsing history, then using a Google Chrome extension can block all data flow when you visit any third-party sites which shares information with Facebook.

DW FBDisconnect1

It might be interesting for you to know that Facebook today collects usage preferences from over a million of third-party websites on the Internet. Installing Facebook Disconnect would let your  browsing history be private and safe.

DW FBDisconnect2

It’s an easy and one step process to install the Facebook Disconnect extension to your Google Chrome browser.  After installing this extension, you don’t have any preferences to set and it starts working automatically in the background by disabling all Facebook share buttons on third-party web pages. There is no shortcut key or button provided to disable the extension, so you are left only with the traditional method of going to Chrome Extensions Manager and disabling it from there.

Do share your views with me.

LINK: Chrome Extension Facebook Disconnect