Automatically remove tracking tokens from URLs in Chrome, Firefox

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Tired of experiencing your Web browsing habits followed all over the Internet? Check out these add-ons for Chrome and Firefox to help you automatically get rid of the tracking code from links.

July 22, 2013 9:43 AM PDT

Urchin Tracking Modules, or UTMs, are tracking tokens put into URLs. They are a tool used by Google Analytics to help calculate the number of selects a specific link, navigation choices on a Web site, and how much time is spent looking at it. The namesake arises from Urchin Software, a business Google acquired in 2005. Google Analytics borrows significant amounts of its structure and features from Urchin 6.

To get started, you'll must install a copy of the respective add-on for the Web browser.

For Chrome:

Head on the Chrome Web Store entry for Tracking Token Stripper. Just as the name says, the UTM tokens will disappear from URLs you click on. After clicking Add to Chrome and pressing OK, be sure to open a fresh tab and close the previous one to make sure that the extension is working.

For Firefox:

Open the Firefox add-on page for Clean Links and press the Add to Firefox button. In the pop-up window, press Install. Just restart your Web browser and also the add-on will start working. This add-on seems a tad bit more advanced as opposed to Chrome version, because it also strips affiliate links and other similar tracking tokens.

Note: The add-on description mentions control button on the toolbar for toggling, nonetheless it does not appear to appear. I've reported this towards the developer.

Now you're all set. You won't have your clicking behavior tracked after looking something up via Google or elsewhere, since add-ons will strip the tracking tokens.

An unfortunate unwanted effect of using these add-ons that the favorite Web sites won't be able to track in places you spend your time on their site and just how often you visit. To circumvent this challenge (in case you really wanted to), you can disable the add-on -- but that can be a hassle without having quick button toggle about the toolbar.

Do you imagine UTMs are useful or will they just create more spam for you? Share your thinking in the comments.


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