The Evangelist

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Targeted advertisements. You've probably seen them before. They advertise something that you are interested in, have searched lately, or seem to know where you live.

Because of targeted advertisements, I have Firefox set to delete my cookies, cache, and other internet information every time I close my browser. While this can be annoying and log you out of your session at many sites, it can also help improve your internet security and anonymity.

However, I recently saw an incredibly targeted ad. I had looked at the weather for my local area (which, of course, means my zip code). Next thing you know, I see an ad for the county fair. While the fact that the ad was for the county fair did not creep me out that much, the fact that I was being shown an ad for the county fair did.

For those who would like to avoid these advertisements, deleting your cookies and the information saved by your browser regularly can help.

However, for those who are more concerned about protecting their privacy, there are tools like Tor, which can help ensure that advertisers and those looking for personal information alike can't get it. By using Tor, the website you are connecting to won't be able to determine where you are located based on your IP address and more. The downside is that browsing is slowed significantly, even on broadband connections (if you have dial-up, don't even consider it).

What do you think about targeted advertisements? Leave your comment to get the discussion going.


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