Norton AntiTrack – Flipping the bird at internet marketers

September 22, 2022
2 mins read
Start
8/10

Summary

Norton AntiTrack REVIEW

Tired of the personal info-grab that constitutes life in the digital fast lane? PAT PILCHER has got just the thing.

$6.99 per month

Here’s the thing with the digital age. Nothing is ever really free. When an online service is offered at no cost, that is usually because you’re the product. If that sounds a little dystopian and a lot like the plot out of a bad sci-fi flick, let me explain.

Most so-called “free” online services will typically install tiny pieces of text code on your PC called tracking cookies. These can track what websites you visit and what activities you get up to. Tracker cookies don’t have full surveillance capabilities. They’re aimed at helping online marketing companies deliver targeted advertising to you by allowing online advertisers to compile a profile of your interests. These are also sold to third parties, so you can be bombarded with even more annoying pop-up ads.

 

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Worryingly, that teetering pile of personal information gathered on your PC could have more malicious uses, such as collecting your personal info for identity theft. If you find the whole tracking concept an intrusive invasion of your privacy, then relax. The good Witchdoctor has some great news for you.

Symantec has crafted an app/browser extension combo they’re calling Norton AntiTrack, which hunts down tracking cookies and other types of digital fingerprinting on your PC.

Here’s the clever bit. Instead of merely finding and killing tracking cookies, AntiTrack swaps collected tracking cookie data with randomised dummy data, rendering digital tracking activities worthless.

Taken to its logical extreme, this could see companies whose obnoxious pop-up adverts have been inflicted upon us finding their business model becoming increasingly worthless.

AntiTrack comes with a bunch of nifty features. These include anti-fingerprinting capabilities that mask any unique identifiers of your PC. All the standard identifiers (such as your IP address, location, device and OS) are blocked, preventing companies from tracking and targeting your online activities.

Tracker cookies aren’t baked, they’re cremated. This effectively blocks any meaningful tracking of your browsing history and prevents advertisers from collecting personal information on you. It also has the added side-benefit of slightly speeding up browsing as AntiTrack blocks trackers before webpages load, allowing pages to be loaded much faster. Nice!

The app (located in the Windows notifications tray) gives you full visibility of third-party tracking attempts. Installing AntiTrack was a doddle, but you must also install the AntiTrack browser extensions for any browsers installed on your PC. Supported browsers include Chrome, Edge, and Firefox – but not Opera.

The AntiTrack app displays the current day’s tracking statistics. It can also show you the last 30 days or even stats for the entire time it has been installed. For most people, installing AntiTrack and an add blocker will most likely be all they’ll ever need to keep the internet cesspit of online advertising at bay.

AntiTrack can be had for Windows 10 (It won’t run on Windows 10 in S mode, or Windows for ARM CPUs). Unfortunately, Mac users are out of luck at the moment. Priced at $6.99 per month, it also isn’t super affordable. We’d like to see it baked into Norton Internet Security or Norton 360 For Gamers. Doing so would make either product significantly more compelling. If flipping the bird to dodgy internet marketers tickles your fancy, AntiTracker might just be what the Witchdoctor ordered.

nz.norton.com

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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