Ghostery – The Invisible Web?

So a while back I was looking for some extensions to add to my Firefox browser and I came across one that I found to be very interesting. Any web enthusiast would know that whenever someone accesses a website it can contain hidden software and tracking bugs. However, a large number of internet users may not know these exist and the ones who do know may not be fully aware of what actually is running in the background. Well I came across this extension called Ghostery.

Ghostery is nice because it displays for a brief moment all of the hidden processes on a website monitoring your activity. These processes can include things such as Google AdSense, Analytics, or even Quanticast. The purpose of this extension is to make it known to any websites visitor that these processes are running and then provide a link to information regarding such processes a user does not know about. This would allow people to more anonymously surf the web and feel safer on the internet as Ghostery allows its users to block certain or all hidden content.

Disadvantages of blocking hidden processes means that website owners will then show inaccurate data on their tracking software, which to many individuals may not seem like a big deal. But it can be a BIG deal especially since many website owners use this data to make improvements to their site. The data can contain detailed information that shows how many people click on certain links, visit certain pages, frequently access a given site, people who are new, and the length of stay on a website.

To the everyday web surfer this information is seemingly unimportant, however, it allows the owners of the websites to combine the info with info from other statistics software to help optimize the website. Developers can then implement new ways for site users to interact with the site, make navigation easier, dump things that aren’t receiving enough attention, or find ways to get it more attention, all of this slides down the totem pole finally affecting the end user, yourself. Being able to obtain this data and make these changes will allow for a much better website experience which is what all website users and developers want.

I personally don’t recommend blocking all hidden processes on a site except for those that may be potentially harmful, which is what is great about Ghostery, it displays information that is otherwise unobtainable by even the best anti-spyware software making a web surfers online experience safer and better. I enjoy using this add-on mostly for the information it provides to me. Any time I visit a website the first thing I am looking at is the purple box briefly displaying all of the hidden processes to see what’s new and I don’t know about. I wouldn’t worry all too much about that box going away either as bottom right of your web browser will show you a link that pops up a similar display containing more information.

In the end, to provide a more secure and safe web experience as well as to provide more information about what today’s technology brings us, I highly recommend that anyone use this extension. You may be surprised at the information you find. You may also find new and innovative ways to make it better. Go Download it!


Ghostery – The Invisible Web?

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