Stealth surfing

You can defend your online privacy, however. In fact, you must: the simple act of browsing can leave traces of you all over the place, enabling sites to gather information about you without your knowledge. Fortunately, you have numerous ways to combat privacy invasions - from simple browser-setting tweaks to more robust and customisable third-party software to a Web service's solutions. You can just say no to those attacks on your anonymity.

Threats to privacy aren't only online. Any time you buy a house, renew your driver's licence, or change long-distance phone companies, someone is selling your name to telemarketers or junk snail-mailers. It's a database nation out there - you've got to be on your guard not to get sucked in.

Because Internet privacy attacks come at us from every direction, the best way to defend yourself is to take on each enemy individually. Accordingly, we'll explore, one by one, the various options available for controlling Web cookies, spam and your online identity.

Before you do anything else . . .

Control cookie intake

Browse incognito

Eliminate spam

Privatise e-mail

Make chat safe

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Matt Lake

PC World

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