Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ghostery?

Ghostery is a browser tool available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, as well as a standalone app available for iOS. It scans the page for trackers - scripts, pixels, and other elements - and notifies you of the companies whose code is present on the webpage you are visiting. Usually, these trackers aren’t visible, and they are often hard to find in the page source code. Ghostery allows you to learn more about these companies and their practices, and block the page elements from loading if the user chooses.

Where are Ghostery’s options?

Depending on which browser you are using, Ghostery’s options can be in a different place.

Firefox

  • Click on the Ghostery icon in the toolbar.
  • Click on the “gear” button in the upper right.
  • Click on the gray Options button.
  • If the Ghostery icon isn’t in your toolbar, you can go to “Tools” in your main menu bar (at the top), select “Ghostery,” and then select “Manage Options.”

Chrome

  • Click on Ghostery in the toolbar.
  • Click on the “gear” button in the upper right.
  • Click on the gray Options button.
  • If the Ghostery icon isn’t in your toolbar, visit Chrome’s Manage Extensions page by typing “chrome://extensions/” (without the quotes) into Chrome’s address bar and pressing Enter, and then clicking on the “Options” link under Ghostery.

Opera

  • Click on Ghostery in the toolbar.
  • Click on the “gear” button in the upper right.
  • Click on the gray Options button.
  • If the Ghostery icon isn’t in your toolbar, you can go to “Tools” in your main menu bar (at the top), select “Extensions,” and then select “Manage Extensions.” Click on the gear icon to the right of Ghostery’s listing, then select “Preferences.”

Safari

  • Click on Ghostery in the toolbar.
  • Click on the “gear” button in the upper right.
  • Click on the gray Options button.
  • If the Ghostery icon isn’t in your toolbar, you can go to “Safari” in your main menu bar (at the top), select “Preferences,” then “Extensions,” then check or uncheck the box to get to Ghostery’s options. Yeah, it’s a little weird, but we had to make a workaround.
  • You can also right-click anywhere on a webpage and select "Open Ghostery’s Options".

IE

  • Click on Ghostery icon in the toolbar (if you can’t see it, expand the toolbar or click the arrows to view more icons).
  • Select “Options” from the dropdown menu.

How do I turn off the purple box?

If you want to turn off Ghostery’s alert bubble, you can do so in Ghostery’s options. Look for alert bubble preferences under the Advanced tab on Ghostery’s options page.

I installed Ghostery, but can’t find it in my browser. Where is it?

When you install Ghostery on any browser, it inserts an icon into your top toolbar. If you’re having trouble finding it, try expanding the toolbar by resizing it or clicking on the “more” arrows – particularly in IE. Here’s a video to help IE users with this issue.

Every time I start up my browser, the Ghostery configuration wizard pops up. How can I stop this?

This is happening because you have an extension installed that’s interfering with your ability to set Ghostery’s options. You can fix it by disabling the other extensions, setting Ghostery’s options, restarting your browser, and then re-enabling them.

What is the best way to report a problem, make a suggestion or ask a question?

You can visit our support forums or send an email to support@ghostery.com.

What is whitelisting?

When you whitelist a site, it allows tracking on just that site until you remove it from the whitelist in Ghostery’s options. Ghostery does not add or remove sites automatically to or from your whitelist.

What is blocking?

When you choose to block a tracker, Ghostery either prevents the tracker from “phoning home” or prevents the tracker from ever being written to your browser. You can toggle control blocking on a tracker-by-tracker basis, on a per-site basis, and on a per-category basis in Ghostery’s options.

Should I block www.example.com?

This is up to you. Everyone’s expectations for privacy on the internet are different. Along with the ability to block tracking, Ghostery provides the most comprehensive library on trackers, complete with detailed profiles, known to man. If you are suspicious of a tracker or are unsure as to whether or not you should block it, you can refer to these profiles for more information.

Will Ghostery affect my browser performance?

Ghostery initiates a scan and decision for several types of page elements, and in some cases, this scan may represent a slight increase in page load times. However, if users choose to block page scripts, our lab research suggests that pages load faster on average.

Why is Ghostery making that noise?

Ghostery is not making that noise. Ghostery does not make noise.

Ghostery is a free extension. Is that going to change?

Ghostery will remain a free service. There are no plans to create a version of Ghostery that requires user payment.

I love your product. How can I donate to Ghostery?

Thank you! We don’t currently take donations for Ghostery. This isn’t because we hate money, it’s because we already have a successful business model. If you want to support us, please opt-in to Ghostrank. You can find out more about our how we make money here.

What is Ghostrank?

Ghostrank is an option you can select if you would like to support Ghostery. When you select it, you allow Ghostery to track trackers as your browser traverses the internet. The anonymous information on the trackers is sent back to us, and we make reports out of it. It’s how we make money, it makes the internet more transparent for everyone, and it also makes for some very insightful blog posts on the Purple Box. You can learn more about Ghostrank and our parent company, Evidon, here.

Ghostery is owned by Evidon, Inc. What is Evidon?

Evidon is a technology company that provides solutions for consumers, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that enable them to see, understand and control data online. For businesses and NGOs, Evidon provides the technological underpinnings that put the AdChoices icon, which functions as a “tracking nutrition label” into ads, as well as reports on trackers and what they are doing on the web. For consumers, we provide Ghostery. Evidon is able to support Ghostery through our users who choose to opt-in to the anonymous Ghostrank panel, which allows us to make tracker reports and helps to provide organizations like the Better Business Bureau with information that helps them enforce self-regulation. Our mission, as a company, is to make the web more transparent for everyone involved. We strongly believe that making disclosure more transparent will raise the quality of the entire online ecosystem by enabling digital companies to grow and innovate with privacy in mind.

What Evidon is not:

  • Evidon is not an advertising network or behavioral data collection service.
  • Evidon doesn’t work to allow advertisers to be more invasive.

Click here to learn more about Evidon’s services. Also, check out our blog post about the company’s mission and how it relates to Ghostery.

What data does Evidon receive from users who opt-in to Ghostrank?

When a user opts-in to Ghostrank, Ghostery sends the following information each time a tracker is encountered:

  • the tracker identified by Ghostery
  • the blocking state of the tracker
  • domains identified as serving trackers
  • the time it takes for the page and the tracker to load
  • the tracker’s position on the page
  • the browser in which Ghostery has been installed
  • Ghostery version information
  • standard web server log information, such as IP address (we do not store IP addresses) and HTTP headers

What does Evidon do with Ghostrank information?

When you enable Ghostrank, Ghostery collects anonymous data about the trackers you’ve encountered and the sites on which they were placed. These data are about tracking elements and the web pages on which they are found, not the individuals who encountered those elements.

Online marketing companies need better visibility into real-world applications of their technologies and those owned by their competitors. Ghostrank data helps them market to consumers more transparently, better manage their web properties, and comply with privacy standards.

Ghostrank data shared with businesses never includes data about you. To learn about the data that Ghostrank collects, click here.

We also publish our own research and provide data to privacy researchers, analysts and journalists. Additionally, organizations like the Better Business Bureau use Ghostrank data in the enforcement of privacy standards like the DAA AdChoices program.

To read more about how the Ghostery service supports the Evidon business, read our post The Most Frequently Asked Question.

I have a question that is not listed here. Where can I find an answer?

Try our support forums.