What do we mean by “tracker?” Are cookies and trackers the same thing? A cookie is a text file that a website downloads to your browser as you are visiting it. The stored information acts like a “unique identifier” that helps a website “remember” you when you visit the next time around. It is therefore a kind of tracker. While cookies are the most commonly known form of online tracking, there are many other techniques used to track people’s online activity. We use the term tracker as a general term that includes commands, scripts, or cookies embedded in websites or mobile application. We do our best not to block trackers that are necessary for a good user experience (display content, fonts, widgets, API…).
The Tracker Panel is accessible from 2 locations: the Main Menu and the Toolbar.
To access the Main Menu, click on the Pocket Geek Privacy logo next to your browser’s navigation bar (top right).
If you can’t find the Toolbar, go in the Main Menu and check in your Settings, under Components. You might have chosen to hide it…
The Tracker Manager for the Browser Extension is under work! In the meantime, the Tracker Panel is an amazing tool that shows you the information you need most at the time you need it. Each time you jump to a website, it lists all the intrusive or dangerous trackers and allows you to block them on the spot. It is symbolized by a crossed shield .
From the Main Menu, you can open the Tracker Panel directly by clicking on the crossed shield on the Trackers line.
Next to each icon is a circle with a number. The number next to the shield icon tells you how many trackers are watching you at that moment.
Let’s say you are visiting acme.com, then the “25” means that we found 25 trackers worth blocking on the Acme website. The numbers can vary greatly from one site to another (up to 100!) since websites can’t always control all the trackers on them. Sometimes you will see the numbers increase on the fly as some trackers call other trackers in.
To identify all the trackers watching you on a website:
Position your mouse on top of the shield → it turns blue.
Click on it
The Tracker Panel opens up and displays the list of all the trackers we detected, organized in 6 categories.
When you click on the arrow next to a category, the category expands and shows you all the trackers we detected on the current website that belong to the category.
Trackers can be classified depending on their “job”:
The Tracker Panel gives you a granular control over trackers. There is no such a thing as an “all or nothing” approach with trackers since you may decide that some are an acceptable trade-off to improve a browsing experience while others are too risky to let in (e.g. blocking some advertising trackers may prevent you from accessing content so you may decide to allow them in some circumstances).
That’s why we give you the option to only block some and only on the current website OR to block only a category OR to block some/all everywhere you go OR… You have the control, you decide.
Use the toggles on the line of the tracker/category of trackers you wish to allow/block
Green means trackers are blocked (the tracker filter is on), gray means trackers are allowed (the tracker filter is off)
If you wish to only block/allow the trackers that have been detected on the current website, use the toggle on the “on this website” column.
If you wish to block/allow the trackers that have been detected on all the subsequent websites you will visit, use the toggle on the “on all websites” column.
As you switch the toggle on and off, your preferences will automatically be saved. If you use multiple browsers, your preferences will be applied the same way.
We decided to let you know by default if trackers are active when you arrive on a website: a notification appears in your browser (top right). From there, you can:
If you find these notifications annoying, just check the box at the bottom and we will stop.
Click on the shield icon
If the toggle “ON THIS WEBSITE” is green then the tracker filter is on and all the trackers active on this website are blocked
If you want to allow them, click on the toggle → it turns gray (the tracker filter is off)
Next time you come to this website, your preference will be remembered and the trackers will be allowed/blocked as pre-defined by you.
The Toolbar is meant to display meaningful information about your current situation and give you access to quick actions on the fly. However we are able to provide you with much more detailed information and greater control from the Tracker Panel. From there, you will be able to differentiate the trackers depending on their purpose, potential for danger, intrusiveness, etc., and block accordingly.