How to avoid intrusive and retargeting ads

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Advertising is a core component in most organizations, and to some, it’s their primary source of income. But not all advertisements are done equally. From an internet user perspective, there are friendly ads and others are well, unfriendly intrusive ads. The types of ads depend on the approach used, but when you are on a money-making mission, sometimes the end might justify the means. Some strategies can convert well but at the expense of an internet user. These strategies usually involve tracking and monitoring the user behavior all over the internet. This gives rise to intrusive and retargeting ads.

Intrusive and retargeting ads

Nearly everybody is a victim of retargeting and intrusive ads. For instance, you might visit a website looking for a smartphone accessory let’s say some high-quality headphones. You spend 1hr searching for the headphones on the internet, you find what matches your preferences, and finally, you make a purchase and close the site as you wait for your item to be delivered. But that’s not all, from that moment henceforth, any site you open keeps showing ads of headphones. At first, you think it’s a malware, you do a full scan, but nothing is found. If you have ever been in this situation, then you are a victim of retargeting. What’s creepier is that you feel like someone is watching and pushing the ads.

Although retargeting is one of the best advertising tools that help customers find more better deals, when implemented poorly it leads to frustrating intrusive ads.

How retargeting works

Most marketers prefer retargeting to other methods because it’s the most effective in offering ads that are helpful to users and also convert more. Most of the ads you might see are usually related to what you might want to buy. You might wonder how marketers know this, but it all comes down to cookies and trackers.

Cookies track your browsing behavior by keeping a record of what you search for on the internet. Depending on the cookies and tracking involved, they will then show you related ads when you open another website. This is also made possible by retargeting companies.

Avoiding intrusive and retargeting ads

Advertisers continue to evolve digitally, and there’s no way you can altogether avoid ads when you are online. What you can do however is control the number of ads and what you see online. Here is how;

Clearing your browser data – This is a good place to start, and different browsers offer different options to do it. Clearing your browser data will get rid of all your browsing history and other data such as saved passwords. Bookmark your favorite sites as they will disappear too.

Doing away with cookies – Since cookies primarily bring this problem, the best way to control intrusive and retargeting ads is either by clearing cookies or by setting your browser not to accept them. The latter may have consequences and may cause difficulties when accessing some sites. To avoid this, you can configure your browser to delete cookies every time you close your browser automatically.

Use incognito/private mode – In the incognito mode, your browser is automatically set not to save cookies, your searches, and even visited sites. Other browsers offer the option of blocking trackers. But don’t use this mode when you want to mask your online activities since as it won’t help.

Use ad blockers and anti-trackers – Almost all browsers support extensions and add-ons; these are modules that give the browser added functionalities from other third-party developers. To avoid intrusive and retargeting ads, look for the most reputable ad blockers such as AdBlock plus. These modules block ads and trackers effectively.

Use a secure browser – Secure browsers block tracking and also collect a minimal amount of data. Other secure browsers go a mile further to protect your privacy.

Use a VPN – A VPN is a well-known tool that ensures your security and privacy are not compromised. Reputable VPNs offer strong encryption protocols and other security features that keep your internet traffic safe and private.

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