How Can I Protect My Online Privacy With The ShareMeNot Firefox Extension?

If you are someone who is concerned about their online privacy then you may have issues with many web sites that increasingly seem to be covered in rating buttons these days.

ShareMeNot is a Firefox extension that can help you out under these circumstances.

After downloading this Firefox add-on you can prevent yourself being tracked through some of the more common rating buttons. These include:

  • The Twitter ‘tweet’ button
  • The Facebook ‘like’ button
  • Google’s new ‘+1’ button
  • The Digg Button
  • and more

Social web users often appreciate these rating buttons but they also track user activity, sometimes displaying “likes” and “dislikes” on other sites that also feature one or more of these buttons, even if the user did not explicitly visit or click on that web site.

ShareMeNot Firefox Addon

Getting started with ShareMeNot

The ShareMeNot add-on works by preventing web sites from displaying the user’s “likes” and “dislikes” on web pages that they did not specifically access. Sure, other programs can do this too (such as Ghostery), but most of them simply remove the buttons altogether, preventing the user from approving of and sharing content that they see.

By allowing users to continue to vote for their favorite pages and share interesting web content with their friends, whilst at the same time also preventing web sites from displaying this information to unintended users, the ShareMeNot extension provides users with the perfect compromise solution.

ShareMeNot icon

Once you have installed the add-on and restarted Firefox you will see an icon in the bottom right hand corner of your browser (its the footprints in a red crossed out circle). Clicking on this will open up a small menu as seen above. The example in this case is the the ShareMeNot site itself so I decided to surf over to my own site…

Blocking in action

In this case you can see my Twitter ‘tweet’ button in the top left of the image above. Using ShareMeNot shows that the Twitter button has been duly blocked. You will also notice that you can re-enable blocked buttons on a site by site basis.

ShareMeNot is a handy add-on for your Firefox browser. It is updated regularly and, best of all, it is free. It can also be used in combination with other extensions such as NoScript and Ghostery. Download it from here.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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