I use an Ad Blocker – Ghostery – in FireFox. There are several reasons for this:
- To keep down the tracking. I know that ad-blocking doesn’t really stop tracking. Of course I disable 3rd Party cookies and enable “Tracking Protection”. But I don’t expect that this really stops tracking since there are so many ways around Ad Blockers and Tracking Protection.
- To help prevent Malware infections. There have been many cases of malicious advertisers leaking their malware through ads into systems. Advertisers, including even Google, have been the source of malware attacks since they do not sufficiently vet their advertisers.
- To increase the performance of page loading, since all that Ad Ware and Tracking nonsense is often many times the size of the page itself.
Most of my web experience with Ghostery Enabled is just fine. I can purchase items online on Amazon, Newegg and many other sites. I can read most news sites just fine. Slashdot and many other sites show ads in a way that Ghostery does not block, but that is not intrusive or objectionable.
But some sites are so interested in having ads that their site is completely unusable with Ad Blockers enabled. Here’s a particularly silly example. Engadget, the tech new web site. I am intentionally not providing a link to the site here. You’ll have to google the site if you are interested.
The first image is how the front page appears with Ghostery enabled and blocking all Adware and Tracking sites. Notice particularly the left column where no images appear. The links to some of the stories does appear. The next two images are the list of trackers and adware ghostery has blocked.
The last image, which is completely blank except for the title and top menu, is for the story about Selfies. So a tech news site, whose publishers must be aware that many folks use Ad-Blockers, designs their site so that it’s not usable with an ad-blocker and provides no message or other information. The site is just “Broken”.
Well, I guess that’s what they want. There are lots of other places to get Tech News. So not only will I avoid ads on the site, I’ll avoid the content too. And never bother visiting the site again.
I recommend that you enable an Ad Blocker plugin in the browser of your choice for the reasons that I’ve listed above. Ghostery is free, and there are others too.
Enjoy and be safe online.