You are here

Online tracking – more than cookies

Share this page

Wondering why you keep getting online ads targeted to you? Then, check out the FTC’s updated guidance on online tracking. It describes different methods of tracking, how they work, and how you can control them.    

How do websites remember you? For years, the answer has been by using “cookies” – pieces of information saved by your web browser, then used to remember you and customize your browsing experience.

Now, it’s about more than cookies. Without using cookies, companies can use “device fingerprinting” to track you, based on your browser’s unique configurations and settings. Plus, mobile app developers can use “device identifiers” to monitor different applications used on your device. Tracking can also occur on smart devices, like smart TVs. 

How can you control online tracking? Here are some ways to get started:

  • Delete or limit cookies. Check your browser’s settings for tools under Help, Tools, Options or Privacy.
  • Reset identifiers on your mobile devices. That makes it harder to associate your device with your past activity. iOS users can do this by following Settings > Privacy > Advertising > Reset Advertising Identifier. For Android, the path is Google settings > Ads > Reset advertising ID. Remember that this will only prevent tracking based on past activity – it won’t prevent tracking going forward.
  • Learn about tracker blockers. There are tools that allow you to block ads called tracker blockers. They prevent companies from using cookies or fingerprinting to track your internet behavior. To find tracker blocking plug-ins, type “tracker blocker” in your search engine. Then, compare features to decide which tracker blocker is best for you.  

Want to learn more about safeguarding your information online? Check out the FTC’s advice on computer security, protecting your personal information, and limiting unwanted calls, mail and email.


very good site and useful information.

Wish to file a complaint in discrimination. Sheetz, Dunkin Donuts, Charlies Subs, Wal-Mart the polite way of saying your to old." You don't fit our criteria, or we are going a different way" I am 62 US Citizen being told I am to old in a very polite way.

How do I enable cookies in google browser not chtome

The FTC article about online tracking has information about cookies.

It would serve great pleasure to download my devices without them being compromised by other parties.

Very frustrated!

I think something is going on with my account. I can't get on anything I want to when I want. I'm always getting kicked offline and I am on a contract. Help???

If you're having trouble with your service, you could talk with your service provider.

Excellent website, and easy to use. Thanks!

Dear friend the following company has making froud and scam in india, and nepal, by name of shipping and salling used car in very low price, and ask for the money and never give delivery of car, do not refund money this company if fraud company , for ask to make 25% for process starts, then more of transit and tinsurance , then tax , after collecting money then never responded mail and calls,,Fidelity Auto Storage & Logistics Escrow Service & Customer Safety, Address ,105 W Madison St #1 Baltimore, MD 21201 USA Phone,USA +1 (410) 994-2772Email ,info@ fidelityautostorageandlogistics. com Web site. fidelityautostorageandlogistics. com/ Tracking Tracking link and shipping status  fidelityautostorageandlogistics. com/ tracking. html

You could file a complaint with the Attorney General for the state of Maryland.

You can also report the problem to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

I have filed a complaint with Fed. Trade Commission concerning non delivery of items purchaced from ad on Facebook and unable to contact them with the address provided. I now see the very same ad for same items BUT different company name as I tried contacting them via this 'other' company.."no record of my order"....Now, to the section : Report On- Line Shopping Fraud..follows a list of what departments to contact...DO we contact one or all those listed?? Thank you for lots of info, very helpfull!

Leave a Comment