Help Desk Series: Smart blocking

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Ghostery Team August 13, 2019

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What is it?

Smart Blocking is one of our automatic features that makes it easier to optimize your browsing experience and blocking choices. It automatically blocks slow or non-secure trackers and enables certain trackers that, when disabled, are known to break popular websites. Most importantly, this function runs locally and does not use any personal data.

If a particular tracker is slowing down your webpage experience, Smart Blocking will disable it only for that site. It’s constantly evaluating which trackers are useful or detrimental and goes through the same routine with each page load.

Smart Blocking acts based on the following criteria:
1. If a tracker takes longer than 5 seconds to load then the request is blocked.
2. Categories where trackers may be unblocked: Essential, Audio/Video Player, and Comments
3. Tags that may be unblocked: Stylesheets, images or fonts

Common Problems

Because Smart Blocking is an automated program, it can be overzealous at times. It may mistakenly determine that an element of the page is a tracker and disable it. This typically applies to images and videos.

Potential Workarounds 

Turn off or disable Smart Blocking while on a site that appears to be having issues. However, this will turn it off for all websites that you visit, so don’t forget to turn it back on. You can also permanently enable specific trackers on a site-to-site basis if you prefer to leave Smart Blocking on. Simply click the small “Trust on this site” button that appears when hovering over a tracker in the Detailed View.

You may also choose to keep this feature turned off if you are more concerned with keeping all trackers blocked than optimizing page performance.

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