We all know that we're never alone on the web. On almost every page you'll visit, you'll be followed by web bugs, trackers and widgets, little programs designed to record statistics on your Internet use and help websites better target their advertising or content. Ghostery shows you what trackers appear on which pages, letting you block them, see their script source or find out more about them.
Ghostery is a Firefox add-on, and is managed from the taskbar. By right clicking the little "ghost" icon, you will get access to help (online), options (not many) and information on the trackers.
When Ghostery does not detect any bugs, it is gray, and when it sees something watching you, it turns red and highlights what it has found, displaying a warning in the taskbar and a small floating square containing the names of the bugs and trackers on the website in question.
Although it shows you what is tracking your movements, Ghostery does not actually offer any protection, other than blocking specific sites once you have discovered them watching you. Even so, Ghostery is still an interesting and well-designed program for those who are truly interested in how the Internet monitors user activity.
Ghostery - in-depth detail for those interested in the mechanics of analytics tracking.
- Total trackers in Ghostery v2.5.3: 518, total protected domain cookies (LSO): 345
- Bug fixes in v2.5.3
- - Added Firefox 4 customized button that could be dragged into any of the available toolbars.
- - Fixed opening Ghostery Options page from Addon Manager.
- - The number counts in all places (toolbar, options page, and update pages) is now based on the same number -- number of tracked applications.
- - Applied same auto-update behavior to cookie lists as the bug lists -- if everything is selected for blocking, all new cookies will be blocked as well.
- - Added upgrade migration script for 2.4+ upgrade to 2.5.3.
- - Uninstall of Ghostery will now remove Ghostery folder artifacts from profile directory (unless user.db file had data).