A useful tip for faster and safer browsing using AdBlock for Firefox

If you are using the AdBlock extension for Firefox , here is a useful tip.

Nowadays many websites log all the visits they receive with a powerful, free service offered by Google, called Google Analytics.

The end user suffers two annoying side-effects from this:

  • The page under surveillance by Google becomes slower to be displayed on your browser. Sometimes this extra delay is just one second, sometimes much longer.
  • Since Google has full access to all the data collected, Google can have a pretty clear idea of what a visitor has been doing all along on those sites, and infer many things, like likes/dislikes, political ideas, etc.

If you do not use any of Google services (like Gmail, Google Groups etc) that data will still be anonymous, even if quite accurate in locating the geographical area where you live. But if you have been using services like Google Checkout, then Google will be able to connect those logs to your street address, credit card data, phone number, etc.

I am not implying Google will ever use all that data for bad deeds. Still, Google is a money-driven corporate giant.

AdBlock Plus can easily defend you from slower loading pages and worrisome privacy concerns.

  1. Copy this tidbit of text: ".google-analytics." including the two dots and excluding the quote marks.
  2. Open the AdBlock Plus preferences (you can find this option under Firefox "Tools" menu.)
  3. Click on the button "Add filter...", in the lower left corner of the AdBlock dialog window, paste the text you copied at step 1, and click on the "OK" button.

From now on, no matter where you go, AdBlock will prevent the visited page to log your visit on Google Analytics, making your browsing faster and hopefully safer.