How to stop Facebook from browser tracking you

Many websites and this includes Facebook (Like) and Google Plus (+1) use buttons for recommending web pages on social networks. These social networks also monitor your browsing behaviour, even if you don’t have an account and this is also happens even if you have third-party cookies disabled.

ShareMeNot is a an extension in Chrome and an add-on in Firefox that allows you to stop Google and Facebook as well as other social networks from tracking you online. By default ShareMeNot blocks, AddThis; Digg; Facebook; Google+; LinkedIn; Pinterest; StumbleUpon; and Twitter. Check out my post from January last year where I suggest you use ShareMeNot.

ShareMeNot will now completely replace the buttons with local stand-in buttons (text). This design allows ShareMeNot to avoid making any requests at all to the trackers until you click on one of the buttons. The old version made requests to trackers to load the buttons, while ShareMeNot removed cookies from those requests, they could still reveal information like your IP address.  Here is how you use ShareMeNot in Chrome and Firefox:

Google Chrome (extension)

  • Download and install ShareMeNot extension
  • You will find the ShareMeNot icon in the address bar
  • Click the icon – you can choose to > ‘Allow all trackers this time’ or deselect particular trackers by unticking them – then click > Done
  • *You can also click > ‘Manage tracker blocking’ – this lets you allow certain types of buttons on specific pages on that website. Click the > ‘Exceptions’ button next to the service you want to allow
  • Enter the domain name in the > ‘Add a new hostname pattern’ box and press ENTER. The exceptions are listed in the above box. You can cancel these exceptions by using > ‘Remove All Exceptions’ button or click > ‘Close’ when you done
  • To use any button i.e.+1 (Google+) on a one-off basis click the ShareMeNot button for that service. This will reinstate the i.e the +1 button for that page. You will need to reload the page to allow trackers that were blocked when the page was loaded.
  • Note: You can also run this tool in incognito mode

Mozilla Firefox (add-on)

  • Download and install ShareMeNot add-on
  • You will find the ShareMeNot icon is in the bottom right corner
  • Click the icon – you can choose > ‘Allow all trackers this time’ or deselect particular trackers by unticking them – then click > Done
  • To use any button i.e.+1 (Google+) on a one-off basis click the ShareMeNot button for that service. This will reinstate the i.e the +1 button for that page. You will need to reload the page to allow trackers that were blocked when the page was loaded.
  • Note: You can switch off ‘automatic updates’ from > Tools > add-ons

*This feature is not available in the Mozilla Firefox add-on

Why protect your online identity? Your personal information belongs to you, however your personal information is of considerable interested to third parties. Third parties will sell or rent your data to other parties so they can collect information about you. I believe that you should have total awareness and control of your personal online data. If you are reading this post, then you are probably interested in using this useful privacy extension / add-on for protecting your online identity.

Safe surfing folks!

Bootnote: Check out my post ‘Facebook is following me from website to website‘ for further reading.

This entry was posted in browser, facebook, google, privacy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How to stop Facebook from browser tracking you

  1. Jeff Boehlow (St Louis Mo) United States says:

    Hello Julian will this work with do not track and or is there any way i can block (all advertisements) from C.B.S.or any other news and or information pages?



    • Julian says:

      #Jeff Boehlow# No it will not work with DNT. It’s up to the ad networks and Facebook as to whether they action the DNT=1 HTTP header command. Facebook hasn’t as far as I am aware opted in to the initiative – Twitter though has. I also haven’t seen any visual indication on any browsers as to whether a website supports the DNT feature, so this is a little unclear on how or whether users will use or more importantly understand this feature. Check out my post on Browser-based JavaScript blockers. This should answer your question on how you can block third-party scripts/ads.

  2. Eva says:

    Hi There Julian, I am shocked by what I have read. I received your link from “TechGuy Editor”. My privacy is extremely important & sure it is for most & in my opinion it should not be allowed to happen without my permission etc. Please help me in regards to nobody geting access to my personal information, tracking etc. I do not have Chrome or Firefox so I don’t know if can install the “shareMeNot” .. I use Internet Explorer. Please advice me what to do. Many Thanks in advance.

    • Julian says:

      #Eva# You have two options (but not at the same time). 1. Use InPrivate Browsing in IE 9. Click on > Tools > InPrivate Browsing – this prevents IE from storing data about your browsing session – this includes toolbars and browser extensions/plugins – I’d recommend this option. Or 2. Use Tracking Protection. Click on > Tools > Tracking Protection – Click on > Your Personalized List and > Enable. You will then need to add a Tracking Protection List (TPL) – however word of warning these TPL lists are not exhaustive and don’t include social websites right now :(. You can either create your own personalized list and add sites that you do not want to track you or you can click on Get a Tracking Protection List online and download ones that have been created and updated by third-parties. Once you download a TPL, click on it and then click Enable. Right now I’d suggest you go for option 1.

  3. White Wolf 00 says:

    Hi Julian,

    I read your post about ShareMeNot, I believe it was last week, and I added it to my Firefox add-ons. Since then, I have been watching what it has been doing. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything. I also use an add-on called Ghostery. It seems to be doing all the work. It has a pop up on the top right of the screen that tells me what trackers have been blocked as I move from web site to web site and page to page. Am I correct in assuming that these two add-ons don’t play well together? For instance, Ghostery is showing 4 blocked trackers on this page and ShareMeNot is showing nothing. I find this a little troubling. I don’t approve of being tracked by anyone on the internet. What I do/don’t do or where I go is nobodies business but my own. If I can do something to mess them up, I’ll go out of my way to do it. Lets face it, legal or not, these companies that steal our information on the internet, are committing theft. There should be a law enacted to protect us from this and companies committing this theft should be removed from the internet and not allowed back on.(Just a little pipe dream of mine). Anyway, back to the topic. Is there a problem running both these programs at the same time??
    Thanks for your time and Thanks for the tracking post. It helps to keep us on our toes while we surf the internet.


    • Julian says:

      #White Wolf 00# I’ve used Ghostery with ShareMeNot (which does fail to work at times – more recently) for or a while. They work well together. No performance issues in Chrome for Mac right now.

  4. White Wolf 00 says:

    Sorry, forgot to ask, any other suggestions we should consider while we surf the W W W


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