Manage Do Not Track Settings in Windows Browsers

1
Do Not Track

do not track windows
(Image © Shutterstock #85320868).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

These days it feels like the idea of surfing the Web with any level of anonymity is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, with some users going through drastic measures just to obtain a little privacy. Most browsers provide features like private browsing mode and the ability to wipe out potentially sensitive remnants of your browsing session in mere seconds. This functionality focuses, for the most part, on components stored on your device's hard drive such as browsing history and cookies. Data that is stored on a website's server as you browse is a different story altogether.

For example, your online behavior on a particular site may be stored on the server and later used for analysis and marketing purposes. This may include what pages you visit as well as the amount of time you spend on each. Taking things a step further is the concept of third-party tracking, which allows site owners to record your actions even when you have not visited their specific domains. This could be facilitated through advertisements or other outside content hosted on the site that you are viewing, via integrated Web services.

This type of third-party tracking makes many Web surfers uncomfortable, hence the invention of Do Not Track -- a technology that sends your online behavior tracking preference to the server upon page load. Submitted as part of an HTTP header, this opt-in feature states that you do not wish to have your clicks and other behavior-related data recorded for any purpose.

The major caveat here is that websites honor Do Not Track on a voluntary basis, meaning they are not bound to recognize that you have opted in by any legal regulations. With that said, more sites are choosing to respect users' wishes here as time goes on. Although not legally binding, the majority of browsers accommodate Do Not Track functionality.

The methods for enabling and managing Do Not Track vary from browser to browser, and this tutorial walks you through the process in several of the most popular options.

Please note that all Windows 8+ instructions in this tutorial assume that you are running in Desktop Mode.

2
Chrome

chrome do not track
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in the Google Chrome browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the Chrome menu button, represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Settings option.
  3. Chrome's Settings interface should now be displayed in a new tab. Scroll to the bottom of the screen, if necessary, and click on the Show advanced settings... link.
  4. Locate the Privacy section, shown in the example above. Next, place a check mark next to the option labeled Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic by clicking on its accompanying checkbox once. To disable Do Not Track at any point, simply remove this check mark.
  5. Close the current tab to return to your browsing session.

3
Firefox

firefox do not track
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in the Mozilla Firefox browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your Firefox browser.
  2. Click on the Firefox menu button, represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select Options.
  3. Firefox's Options dialog should now be displayed. Click on the Privacy icon.
  4. Firefox's Privacy options should now be displayed. The Tracking section contains three choices, each accompanied by a radio button. To enable Do Not Track, select the option labeled Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked. To disable this feature at any point, select one of the other two available options -- the first which explicitly informs sites that you want to be tracked by a third-party, and the second which sends no tracking preference whatsoever to the server.
  5. Click on the OK button, located at the bottom of the window, to apply these changes and return to your browsing session.

4
Internet Explorer 11

do not track ie
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in the Internet Explorer 11 browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your IE11 browser.
  2. Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action or Tools menu, located in the upper right hand corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse cursor over the Safety option.
  3. A sub-menu should now appear to the left, as shown in the example above. Unlike most other browsers, Do Not Track is enabled by default in IE11. As you can see in this screenshot, there is an available option labeled Turn off Do Not Track requests. If you have this option available, then Do Not Track is already enabled. If your available option is worded Turn on Do Not Track requests, then the feature is disabled and you must select it for activation.

You'll notice the following related option also highlighted above: Turn on Tracking Protection. This feature allows you to refine Do Not Track even further by actively preventing browsing information from being sent to third-party servers, offering the ability to set different rules for different websites.

5
Maxthon Cloud Browser

maxthon do not track
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in Maxthon Cloud Browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your Maxthon browser.
  2. Click on the Maxthon menu button, represented by three broken horizontal lines and located in the upper right hand corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appars, click on the Settings button.
  3. Maxthon's Settings interface should now be displayed in a browser tab. Click on the Web content link, located in the left menu pane.
  4. Locate the Privacy section, featured in the example above. Accompanied by a checkbox, the option labeled Tell websites I do not want to be tracked controls the browser's Do Not Track functionality. When checked, the feature is enabled. If the box is not checked, simply click on it once to activate Do Not Track.
  5. Close the current tab to return to your browsing session.

6
Opera

do not track opera
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in the Opera browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your Opera browser.
  2. Click on the Opera button, located in the upper left hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, choose the option labeled Settings. You can also utilize the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of choosing this menu item: ALT + P
  3. Opera's Settings interface should now be displayed in a new tab. Click on the Privacy & security link, located in the left menu pane.
  4. Locate the Privacy section, positioned at the top of the window. Next, place a check mark next to the option labeled Send a 'Do Not Track' request with your browsing traffic by clicking on its accompanying checkbox once. To disable Do Not Track at any point, simply remove this check mark.
  5. Close the current tab to return to your browsing session.

7
Safari

safari do not track
(Image © Scott Orgera).

This tutorial is only intended for desktop/laptop users running the Windows operating system.

To enable Do Not Track in Apple's Safari browser, take the following steps.

  1. Open your Safari browser.
  2. Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action menu, located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Preferences option. You can also utilize the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of choosing this menu item: CTRL + COMMA (,)
  3. Safari's Preferences dialog should now be displayed. Click on the Advanced icon.
  4. At the bottom of this window, click on the option labeled Show Develop menu in menu bar. If there is already a check mark next to this option, do not click on it.
  5. Click on the Page icon, located adjacent to the Gear icon and shown in the example above. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse cursor over the Develop option.
  6. A sub-menu should now appear to the left. Click on the option labeled Send Do Not Track HTTP Header.

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