I like to do most of my personal shopping online, especially during the holidays. It saves me fighting my way through crowds at the mall. However, my biggest annoyance is when I visit a website, look at a product and close my browsers, the next time that I log in and use a search engine like Google, I see an ad for that company. In some cases, that specific product I was looking at still shows up. This is because some companies use "Remarketing Advertising" or "Targeted Advertising" based your your browser/device history. This is done by tracking the products you visit and then showing you ads for it later. However, there are ways to stop this and I will explain how to stop ads based on your web history.
General - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
The first step you should do is to opt out of interest-based advertising. Most reputable advertising companies adhere to the Digital Advertising Alliance Of Canada (DAAC) in Canada, the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) in the United States, or the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) for Europe. These websites offer a one stop location for consumers to "opt out" of "interest-based" ads or ads based on your online behavior.
When a consumer chooses to opt out, the companies that were selected by the user will stop collecting and using the information to show ads based on interests known or inferred from the information collected (Interest Based Advertising).
However, opting out of interest based ads does not mean you will no longer see ads online. It just means that the companies which you selected to opt out of will no longer show you ads based on your web history.
To opt out of interest-based ads, click on one of the links below to updated your preference.
- Canada - The Digital Advertising Alliance Of Canada (DAAC) - Opt Out Page
- United States - Network Advertising Initiative - Opt Out Page
- Europe - European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) - Opt Out Page
Google - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
To stop Google showing advertising based on your Google profile, search history and preferences, you can opt out of the ads by heading to the ads settings page. This settings page will let you opt out of ads on Google's properties like Search, Gmail, YouTube and Map as well as Google Ads across the web.
Facebook- Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
Facebook will respect the General Opt Out done at the beginning of the article based on the country your account was created under. However, Facebook allows you to opt out of social plugins on 3rd party sites and ads stating you recommend that company (based on your liking them). You can control these settings by updating Facebook account settings here.
Twitter - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
Twitter will tailor its ads based on your recent websites that you visit as well as show ads about products and services you are interested in. You can disable both of these settings by heading over your account security setting and unchecking both "Personalization" and "Promoted Content" settings.
Mobile Devices - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
Google ties your mobile device to your Google account. Therefore, your device should have the same settings as your desktop. In the case of Apple, you need to opt out by setting the advertising per device.
Android - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
Here are the steps to opt out of ads for a Samsung Galaxy S4. Other Android devices might be slightly different.
- On your Android smart phone, go to Settings
- Click on the Accounts Tab
- Select Google
- Under Privacy Settings, click on Ads
- Check the box "Opt out of interest-based ads"
iPhone - Opt Out of Interest-Based Advertising
Here are the steps to opt out of ads for IOS 6
- On your iPhone 6, go to Settings
- Click on General -> About -> Advertising
- Select "Limit Ad Tracking" ON
Completed the Steps to Opt Out of Ads Based on Your Web History
If you have done all the steps above, you will have disabled interest-based targeted ads from appearing when you surf the web on the majority of websites. You will still see ads, but not ones based on the websites you have viewed.