March 18, 2014, 4:02 PM — This whole NSA scandle has many of us worrying about our privacy. (I suppose that's the best thing to come out of those revelations.) If you're one of us, you should check out Disconnect.
The free browser extension (for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera) reveals the information any site you visit is shared with other sites. For example, if you click on the Disconnect icon in your browser, you might see this:
It's a unique visualization of all the ways you might be traced from one site to another.
Helpfully, Disconnect blocks those tracking sites with one click. You can also instantly enable Wi-Fi security (making sure you don't leak your data over public Wi-Fi) and also load pages faster--27% faster, according to Disconnect.
The company also offers a free Disconnect Search utility that lets you search privately with your existing search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others).
Even if you have nothing to hide, tools like Disconnect put you in control over your information. With data brokers now collecting and selling information about you like whether you're an alcoholic or have a major health issue, we really need privacy apps like Disconnect. You can download or learn more about it here.
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.