How To Hide Your Search Trails Using TrackMeNot Firefox Add-on

Getting Started, Q&A

Did you know that search engines track your every move while you are searching online? It was reported not long ago in the New York Times that big search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN were all collecting data from their users. All of these search engines are monitoring and storing your searches along with other data such as your behavior while online. This information may in some cases, not only be seen by those involved with your favorite search engine but also in many cases, third parties. Learn about TrackMeNot Firefox Add-on.

What is TrackMeNot Firefox Add-on?

The idea of TrackMeNot came about when the creators realized that legislator would take a very long time in coming and we need something that will protect our Fourth Amendments now not in months and possibly years to come.

TrackMeNot is a solution that can be used right now to hide your searches in a “cloud of ghost queries”. The only problem is that you must have a Firefox browser installed or you are out of luck, on the other hand, Firefox is very easy to download and install just like TrackMeNot.

Using TrackMeNot will give you more privacy and protect your information from search engines that might sell your information to third parties.

TrackMeNot Installation

Installing the add-on is very simple. All you have to do is follow the instructions in plain English. After a few seconds of installing, you will be able to see that search queries begin to show up in your status bar.

These will be sent to search engines, faking them out as to where you are really going or what you are searching for while online. You can, if you desire, disable the display function.

The same options are available from the Tools menu of the browser:

From the available Options you can:

  • Set the Serch Engines that TMN queries
  • Next, set the queries to be performed (Current Queries)
  • Set the Query Frequency
  • Set the Logging Options and see the performed queries (ShowLog)

You can choose from TrackMeNot version 0.3.x, version 0.4.x, and the newest version 0.5.x with features such as burst-mode, cookie anonymization, real-time search tracking, a few minor bug fixes, and improved timing mechanism and improved logging.

The important question: Can TMN effectively hide my identity?

Here is what the creators of TrackMeNot have to say about this:

To the extent that a third-party tries to identify you through searches alone, TMN can potentially make this a lot more difficult. Much depends on the search query terms included in future versions of TMN. If third-parties are using other means to identify you, e.g. through IP addresses and information from your ISP, TMN will be of little use.

So, you should also look to other tools in order to fully protect your privacy. Don’t forget to check my other posts that present 7 Firefox Add-Ons To Browse Anonymously and 3 Free Firefox VPN/Proxy Add-ons That Still Work on Firefox 57.

Happy surfing!

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1 comment… add one
  • Janos Apr 16, 2008

    You may be interested by a similar extension that I am developing.
    It’s called SquiggleSR and it includes several new features:
    +personalized queries
    +simulated clicks on non-sponsored results
    +support of Firefox3

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