What are those symbols in the purple box?

There are 3 symbols in the purple box that provide alerting.

 

 

Explosion = Broken Page

Snail = Slow Page

Shark Fin = Non-Secure Tag Detected

Why am I being prompted to approve an update from Ghostery on Firefox?

In our 8.2.5 hotfix, we made an important improvement to our Ad Blocker that allows Ghostery to more rigorously detect and block ads (specifically, those served over web sockets).

Because this introduces a new detection mechanism in our extension, Firefox requires that users acknowledge the update.

You will therefore see a prompt from Firefox that you must approve in order for Ghostery to update. To proceed (highly recommended), simply click “Update.” This will also grant permission for all future Ghostery updates, so you will not be prompted again.

If you click “Cancel,” your extension will NOT be updated, will not receive any fixes or new features. In this case, you will be prompted again each time there is a new release.

The prompt says Ghostery needs permission to “Access your data for all websites.” What does this mean?

In order for Ghostery to block trackers and ads, it needs to be able to detect and take action on elements of a web page as you browse. We do not record sensitive information, record browsing history, or disclose user data. Note that despite the prompt being new, Ghostery is not introducing any new permissions with the update.

Ghostery is an open source technology and we invite you to take a look and see what we are doing behind the scenes on our Github page.

Ghostery vanished from Safari 12. How do I get it back?

With the update of Safari 12, all extensions using legacy code have been disabled. We have built a new Ghostery Lite extension that will work with the updated Mojave/Safari 12 release. However, its not in production yet. For now… Here are the instructions on how to reinstall Ghostery 5.

1) Open Safari

2) Go to Preferences in Safari

3) Select the ‘Extensions’ icon

4) Find Ghostery in the left panel

5) Check the box near Ghostery

6) A message will pop up saying: “Are you sure you want to enable the extension ‘Ghostery’“, then select Enable

7) You’re good to go!

What are the new Ghostery 8 features?

Ghostery 8 introduces a new suite of features designed to strengthen privacy, block ads, and enhance website performance.

Enhanced Anti-Tracking: Developed by our parent company Cliqz, our Enhanced Anti-Tracking feature is a heuristic approach to real-time, algorithmic tracking protection.  Like Ghostery’s main blocking mechanism, it monitors all third-party requests.  However, instead of simply blocking those requests, it analyzes them for personally identifiable information and then strips out that information before the request is sent.  Enhanced Anti-Tracking supplements Ghostery’s block-list approach by catching anything that might have been missed. Therefore, even if trackers are allowed to execute, you can feel safe knowing that all personal information has been anonymized in the request.

You can learn more about how it works in this article from Cliqz.  Under the section header “Building the Global Safe Set”, we discuss what data is collected via anti-tracking. In order for this system to work, we must analyze the tracker requests for patterns to determine what should be deemed unsafe. However, this is done anonymously and without compromising user privacy.

On the Cliqz browser, this feature is active by default and can be accessed from the Cliqz control panel.

Enhanced Ad Blocking: Our new visual ad-blocker complements Ghostery tracker blocking and anti-tracking.  It catches and eliminates ads from a filter list and does not require any user-generated data.

On the Cliqz browser, this feature is active by default and can be accessed from the Cliqz control panel.

Smart Blocking:  We developed our automatic Smart Blocking feature to make it easier for users to optimize their browsing experience and blocking choices.  It automatically blocks slow or non-secure trackers, for example, and allows certain trackers that we know may cause breakage on popular websites when blocked.  This function is run locally and does not use any personal data.

Who is Ghostery?

Ghostery, Inc. is a NYC-based subsidiary company of Cliqz GmbH that offers a free browser extension and mobile browser that make navigating the internet smarter, faster, and safer. Ghostery detects and blocks tracking technologies on the websites you visit to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter, and protect your data and privacy.  It keeps you informed on what companies are tracking you and provides you the tools you need to control what to block and when.

What new Ghostery features can we expect in the future?

We’ve been experimenting with potential new features to deliver more value to our users.

These include several new dashboard concepts to help users browse smarter:

History dashboard: A log of your tracking history that shows what Ghostery has done for you, including trends about trackers you’ve encountered and blocked over time.

Performance dashboard: An analysis of website performance, such as data transferred, page load quality and number of data requests.

Tracker alerts dashboard: Control center where users can “tag” trackers to follow their activity on the web, receive insight into loading behavior, and alerts when they appear on a page you visit.

Rewards dashboard: A hub that displays Ghostery Rewards earned and redeemed.

We are also gauging interest in a website snapshot function, an interactive mode where users can view which elements on a page are linked with trackers, make adjustments, and see before/after page comparisons.

Finally, our development team is experimenting with a native Ghostery desktop application that provides system-wide privacy protection and in-depth tracker analytics.

Is Ghostery really free?

Yes, all the Ghostery Browser Extensions and Mobile Apps are completely free to download and use.

What is the Human Web and what data is collected through it?

The Human Web is an open-source technology built by our parent company, Cliqz, that uses the power of anonymous group data create innovative browser technologies to make the internet more private.  Users that participate in the Human Web contribute anonymous information related to trackers, websites, and search queries that are then analyzed and evaluated for relevance and safety.  This data is used to create anonymous group models that power the private quick-search, anti-tracking, anti-phishing technologies featured in Cliqz products and which will soon be featured in Ghostery.  

The Human Web is built using world-leading privacy-by-design practices that ensures that any data that is collected is done completely anonymously without any personally identifiable information.  To achieve this, the Human Web implements two core components:  its data collection framework and its proxy network.

The Human Web data collection framework requires that the data points contributed by users are evaluated only as a single, aggregated event, disentangling these signals from any personally-identifiable information such as timestamps or user IDS.  Furthermore, The Human Web filters out any sensitive or personal information from URLs that are deemed unsafe (e.g., twitter.com/username) that can be used to identify an individual person.  Thus, we are neither able to combine data from multiple entries or multiple visits to websites, nor to link this information with any personal information, like email addresses or user IDs, that can be used to identify an individual.

As a further safety precaution, this information is sent through the Human Web proxy network, a series of peer-to-peer proxies that remove information like the user IP addresses, making it virtually impossible to determine who or where the data comes from.  The proxy network itself is blind to the content of the data its sending, adding a further security measure to the process.  Consequently, all data we collect is virtually unidentifiable by anyone, including ourselves, so that even if our security were breached by a hacker our outside organization, there would be absolutely no way to tie this information to individuals.

The specific data contributed through the Human Web includes:

  • Non-Private URLs
  • Search queries along with Search Engine Results Pages
  • Suspicious URLs that are potential phishing websites
  • Information related to safe and unsafe trackers
  • Information related to the prevalence and performance of trackers  

Though the Human Web is more powerful as more Cliqz and Ghostery users join it, participation in it is completely optional.  If you do not want the Human Web to collect anonymous statistical data about your searches and website visits, you can adjust your settings in the Ghostery Menu.

If you’d like to dive into the weeds and learn more about the Human Web, you can check out the source code in our open-source Github repo.

 

How does Ghostery make money?

Currently, Ghostery does not make money from our free extension. However, we are owned and funded by Cliqz GmbH, a privacy-centric company based in Germany that is focused on building a large, passionate user base across several products. Our combined audience and technological infrastructure will empower us to evaluate several different business models to drive both new and traditional digital economies. These models will come into focus alongside new Ghostery features in 2018.

How many trackers does Ghostery have in its library?

Ghostery has a proprietary library of over 4500 trackers from over 2600 companies that we update continually.

How is using the browser extension different from blocking cookies?

Ghostery differs from simply “blocking cookies” because that still allows the browser (with your IP address) to communicate with the web server — it just prevents cookies from being placed on your machine. The requests are still happening, and data about you is still being transmitted. Ghostery completely intercepts those requests and never allows the communication to happen in the first place.

How does Ghostery work?

Ghostery is a browser extension, a piece of software that extends the functionality of a web browser on a desktop computer. Ghostery monitors all the different web servers that are being called from a particular web page and matches them with a library of data collection tools (trackers). If it finds a match, Ghostery shows that tracker in the list in the pop-up information bubble or control panel. If you’ve configured Ghostery to block communication with one or more of these companies, it interrupts the call from leaving the browser.

 

This is different than opting-out or blocking cookies because those strategies still allow the browser to communicate with the web server (they just try to alter the communication or the response). When blocking is enabled, Ghostery never allows the communication in the first place.

How does Ghostery know if a company is tracking me?

Ghostery analyzes every network request generated by a web page, and matches the outgoing URL patterns against a proprietary database of known tracker vendors to determine if the user is being tracked and by whom.

How do I find out which company the tracker belongs to?

From within the drop-down control panel, you can click on any tracker to reveal a short description of who provides it. You can then view more details about this tracker and what it collects by clicking the ‘learn more’ link.

Does Ghostery work on mobile devices?

Ghostery does offer a mobile browser with anti-tracking features as standalone app for iPhones, iPads, and iPods and Android. We also work inside Firefox on Android phones.

Does the Ghostery Extension work in any browser?

Ghostery is supported in Cliqz, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Yandex, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer. Each browser extension must be downloaded and installed separately.

If I opted in to share my data with the Ghostery Extension, is that data connected with my account?

No. Data shared with Ghostery through the opt-in program is solely related to tracking technologies that the user encounters – it is not connected with user accounts in any way.

No account needs to be created to use the Ghostery Extension; it is simply an option to make things more convenient for the user. However, an account will need to be created to access Ghostery Midnight.

What data is collected and how is it used when I create an account?

If you choose to open a user account, we will collect your name and email address. Usage of this data is limited to: (i) syncing your extension settings across browsers and devices, (ii) serving as your login credentials, (iii) communicating directly to you through your email address to give you information about our products, updates and upgrades.

Note that no account needs to be created to use Ghostery; it is simply an option to make things more convenient for the user.

How do I know that’s really all you collect?

More information on what and how we use data can be found in our privacy statements. In addition, our Ghostery Extension source code is public and can be viewed freely on Github.

Transparency and integrity are important to us. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at privacy@ghostery.com.

Does Ghostery share user data with other companies?

No. Ghostery does not share collected data of any kind with third parties.

Transparency and integrity are important to us. If you have any questions or concerns, you may view the Ghostery source code on Github or reach out to us at privacy@ghostery.com.

Who is Evidon?

Evidon, Inc. is a New York City-based tech company owned by Crownpeak that provides Digital Governance solutions for Business.  The Ghostery brand and products were owned by Evidon, Inc. from 2010 to 2017 (during which time it was called Ghostery, Inc.), before they were sold to Cliqz GmbH in 2017.

Ghostery does not sell or otherwise share data of any kind with Evidon, Inc.

What is Ghostery Rewards?

Ghostery Rewards is an optional, private-by-design feature that delivers you high-value offers as you browse and make purchases online. Rewards can be viewed, managed, and turned on or off at any time within the Ghostery extension or Ghostery Tab. It is powered by our sister company, MyOffrz.

How does it work?

All Rewards come pre-loaded within your local Ghostery extension, where they remain passive until unlocked.  A Reward is unlocked when you complete a set of action triggers that indicate your active interest in making a purchase for which a related offer exists.  These triggers funnel potential Rewards based on a set of logic criteria until a match is found and displayed.

How is my data kept private in this process?

Ghostery Rewards operates locally, meaning it is completely contained within your browser and does not transmit personal information back to Ghostery, Cliqz, or any other third party companies.  Because your data never leaves your device, it remains in your possession and under your control – we do not collect, process, or store it centrally on a server. We cannot profile you or share your data with anyone else.  In this way, Rewards is fully private-by-design, making it a powerful new way to gain real value by completely anonymous means.

What can I expect in the future from Rewards?

We are working hard to improve Rewards by expanding our client base and improving usability and design. We also plan on integrating Rewards into future products, including a new Ghostery Tab currently in the works.

Your feedback is welcome! Please let us know your thoughts or if you need assistance at support@ghostery.com.

If you’re interested in Partnering with Ghostery, you can reach us at sales@ghostery.com.

Have questions or feedback? Please contact us at support@ghostery.com.

How does Ghostery work with Cliqz?

As a subsidiary company, Ghostery will collaborate closely with its parent company, Cliqz, on both new and existing products. This means that Ghostery will be implementing proprietary Cliqz technologies, such as its anti-tracking functionality with Human Web, and that the Ghostery product and brand will be available immediately for download on the Cliqz browser.   Both companies will also participate in joint messaging to promote products and solutions.

Ghostery and Cliqz technologies will evolve in parallel and become more closely integrated as these two organizations strive to set a new benchmark in consumer privacy protection.

Who is Cliqz?

Cliqz GmbH is a German company owned by Hubert Burda Media who has acquired the popular Ghostery brand and consumer products, including the anti-tracking browser extensions and mobile apps, from Evidon, Inc. Cliqz is a provider of innovative, privacy-focused browser technologies with integrated quick-search functionality. By combining algorithmic and blocklist anti-tracking approaches, Cliqz and Ghostery will together raise the benchmark in privacy protection. The acquisition of Ghostery’s 10 million active users around the globe will spur Cliqz’s international growth.