As an Android user, DuckDuckGo’s new Tracker Protection should be a must-have

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Photo: sdx15 (Shutterstock) – If you prefer another browser than DuckDuckGo, that’s OK, too. We all know that the Internet is not a “private” place. When you use Google to look for information or download an app, you should be aware that some of your personal data will be sent someplace. But the status of our internet privacy is particularly ominous since tracking may be almost undetectable. You may believe you’re doing one thing online, but a completely different website or corporation is discreetly monitoring your every step (and yes, I recognize the irony here). DuckDuckGo aims to assist Android users.

I’m not sure what app trackers are.

An app tracker is a software that hides within other applications. Using the app, these trackers watch and record everything you do, including what you’re doing on your phone, where you are, and what you’ve done in the past. This is made all the worse by the fact that tracking apps may frequently keep tabs on your activities even after you leave the app they’re hidden in.

What’s the point of tracking you in the first place? As far as I can tell, it’s all about advertising and profit. In order to show you more relevant adverts and to sell your information to other companies, companies like Facebook and Google are trying to develop as accurate a profile of you as possible. It’s nothing new, but the tactics these corporations employ to follow their customers may be sketchy at best.

With iOS 14.5 and the new App Monitoring Transparency feature, which forces applications to request your permission before tracking you “across other firms’ apps and websites,” Apple has addressed this issue. You can prevent these applications from deploying app trackers throughout your iPhone by simply disabling the ability for them to make the request in the first place.

While Android does not offer a way to disable app trackers, this does not necessitate the use of these services. The firm recently introduced a new App Tracking Protection feature for its Android app in an attempt to tackle the shady tracking tactics corporations are promoting on Android. Instead, DuckDuckGo could be worth a go.

DuckDuckGo for Android’s ‘App Tracking Protection’ is explained here.

Using Chrome, Firefox, or another browser instead of DuckDuckGo is perfectly OK. App Tracking Protection is available even if you don’t open the app. Your mobile company may proceed as normal when the app is installed. As soon as DuckDuckGo detects that a third-party tracking firm is requesting your data, it immediately blocks the request. In order to prevent data from being shared, it can only reject requests from trackers in the first place.

It’s a bummer that you can’t sign up right immediately for the feature’s private beta. You’re better off signing up for the waitlist, which DuckDuckGo claims it does every week. That way, your chances of getting in sooner rather than later increase up significantly.

Download the DuckDuckGo Android app from the Google Play Store to get started with signing up. Check to see whether it’s up to date if you already have the app installed. Activate App Tracking Protection in the app’s Settings section. Afterwards, choose “Join the Private Waitlist” and wait for a confirmation message.